SAN FRANCISCO No matter how much this lineup could use a jolt, dont expect to see Anthony Rizzo when the Cubs resume interleague play this weekend.
Theres no timetable, manager Dale Sveum said Monday. Right now, theres no thought of it.
That essentially confirmed what we knew going in, that the Cubs are leaning to the side of player development and dont want to burn major-league service time. A promotion by late June is a more realistic target date.
Rizzo is hitting .356 with 17 homers and 46 RBIs through his first 50 games at Triple-A Iowa and is said to have Gold Glove potential at first base.
The Cubs will need a designated hitter at Target Field against the Minnesota Twins (June 8-10), and when they face the White Sox on the South Side (June 18-20). That would free up Bryan LaHair to move from first base to left field.
After the San Francisco Giants shut down the Cubs on Sunday the teams 10th straight loss on the road Sveum didnt know what to say. He was asked if Alfonso Sorianos knees would benefit from an extended break.
Weve tried the two days off and that, but we got the DH coming up, Sveum said. Were just trying to get him to that DH spot and roll with it. Hopefully, hell hit some home runs.
Soriano has homered in each of the last seven series the Cubs have played, and he remains the only established middle-of-the-order presence, even if hes not the same player he was years ago.
Sveum wasnt complaining or throwing anyone under the bus when he called his postgame press conferences a broken record. This is just the hand he was dealt.
Sveum made his mark with Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun as the Milwaukee Brewers hitting coach. Rudy Jaramillo earned a reputation as one of the best in the business while working with the Texas Rangers. Sveum knows how hardthankless the job can be.
You take things like this personally, Sveum said, (but) you still know that people out in that locker room get paid a lot of money to hit. No matter what, as a hitting coach, you cant stand in the batters box. You cant swing the bat.
So you do have to separate it, but at the same time, Ive lost sleep over it (because) you take pride in a lot of things, and thats one of them.