Cubs

MRI reveals Anthony Rizzo has lateral right ankle sprain, will require walking boot for 5-7 days

MRI reveals Anthony Rizzo has lateral right ankle sprain, will require walking boot for 5-7 days

The Cubs will be without their star first baseman for their last four home games in 2019, at the least.

An MRI revealed that first baseman Anthony Rizzo has a lateral right ankle sprain, the Cubs announced Monday. Although the team is calling it a "moderate" sprain, Rizzo will be in a walking boot for the next 5-7 days before the Cubs establish a timeline for his return.

Rizzo, who exited Sunday's game against the Pirates in the third inning, said he isn't ruling out a return this season, though the Cubs will know more about his status in the near future.

In the short-term, Rizzo will definitely miss this weekend's four-game series against the Cardinals, which will have huge implications on the Cubs' playoff positioning. Entering Monday's game against the Reds, the Cubs sit just two games back of St. Louis for first place in the NL Central and 1.5 games behind the Nationals for the NL's top Wild Card spot.

The Cardinals and Nationals open a three-game set on Monday in St. Louis.

Rizzo's injury comes just days after the Cubs moved him to the leadoff spot. Although they were playing the sub-.500 Padres and Pirates, the Cubs went 4-0 with Rizzo at the top of the lineup, scoring a whopping 47 runs in three games against Pittsburgh. 

If he is unable to return this season, Rizzo will finish with a .289/.404/.516 line (.920 OPS), with 26 home runs and 93 RBIs. The Cubs now find themselves without shortstop Javier Báez (thumb - out for regular season), infielder Addison Russell (concussion IL) and closer Craig Kimbrel (elbow), in addition to Rizzo. However, Russell took batting practice Monday and Kimbrel will throw a simulated game on Tuesday, positive steps in their respective recoveries.

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Cubs Talk Podcast: Mailbag edition

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USA TODAY

Cubs Talk Podcast: Mailbag edition

3:00 - Listener question: Espada or Ross? Kelly Crull shares some inside info on Joe Espada

7:30 - Kelly talks about David Ross' second interview for the Cubs managerial job.

11:30 - Listener question: Say it is Espada, do you see any way David Ross comes on as a coach behind Espada?

13:30 - Listener question: Could the team regress further due to a lack of familiarity with a new manager?

20:10 - Listener question: How hard will Theo and Jed go after Gerrit Cole? And if he's not available who else is?

23:30 - Listener question: Are you trying to extend Castellanos?

26:00 - Listener question: If you sign Castellanos are you also trading Kyle Schwarber?

28:45 - Listener question: Should the Cubs trade Kris Bryant? What would they get back in return?

33:00 - Lighting round: Will Nico Hoerner be the opening day second baseman and keep the job in 2020?

33:10 - Lightning round: Will the Cubs bring back Cole Hamels?

33:45 - Can we and should we clone Javy Baez so we have a fresh Javy when he retires, or is that unethical?

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below:

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Cubs reportedly had second interview with David Ross

Cubs reportedly had second interview with David Ross

The Cubs' managerial search is in full swing as they continue to line up intriguing candidates to replace Joe Maddon. In recent weeks, Houston Astros bench coach Joe Espada's name has been floated out as a strong candidate, with reports stating that the Cubs had already scheduled their second interview with the much sought after coach

While the fact that Espada is such a strong candidate in the midst of a World Series run has led many to believe he is the runaway favorite right now, it is still very much so a wide-open race. 

It was reported that while not extremely publicized, former Cub David Ross is believed to have had his second interview with the Cubs organization this week. 

Ross, who was extremely clutch in the Cubs 2016 World Series win, has an obvious and extended history with the organization. And while there are no concrete reports on the nature of any follow-up discussions between Ross and the Cubs, it was stated that the two sides have in fact at least had those expanded conversations.

As Kelly Crull hinted at in her tweet, Ross's position with the franchise definitely makes his negotiations about the managerial opening a bit more fluid, which may lead to fewer updates on his specific discussions with the team.  

Ross and Espada certainly sound like the favorites to land the Cubs' managerial opening, as our own David Kaplan stated that manager Joe Girardi, who has been connected to the Cubs throughout this search, looks like the front-runner for the Philadephia Phillies managerial spot. 

The 2019 World Series between the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros kicks off on Tuesday night. Traditionally you do not see MLB franchises make their managerial hiring announcements during the World Series,  so the Cubs' announcement could come on one of the World Series off-days, as early as Thursday. 

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