The arrival of heralded prospect Anthony Rizzo is imminent with Tuesday expected to be the day that he begins his Cubs career and as the long-term answer as the first baseman in Chicago.
Rizzo has dominated AAA pitching for the better part of the last two seasons and he will arrive in Chicago with the weight of a struggling franchise on his shoulders no matter how much Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer may try to tamper the enthusiasm of the longest suffering fan base in professional sports.
While speculation centered on Rizzos arrival coming while the Cubs were playing this weekend in Arizona or during interleague play, it makes sense to bring him up to the big league club on Tuesday or Wednesday when the Cubs will play the New York Mets.
Monday the Mets will start one of the toughest left-handers in baseball in veteran Johan Santana who dominates hitters with a variety of off-speed pitches including a devastating changeup that even the best hitters in the game can look foolish on.
The Cubs front office wants to put Rizzo in the best possible position to succeed and having him make his debut on Tuesday or Wednesday is a much better scenario than having him face Santana in addition to all of the hoopla that will coincide with his arrival at Wrigley Field.
Fans need to temper their expectations regarding Rizzo because he arrives in an impossible situation, on a last place team and expected to automatically become an All-Star caliber player. He is a solid offensive player and a very good defender but he needs time to learn the major league game and he needs to experience failure before he can truly achieve the heights that many are predicting for him.
Dont look for him in the lineup at Wrigley Field on Monday night but if you can clear your schedule for Tuesday night, that might be a great opportunity to watch one of the best prospects the organization has had in a long time make his Cubs debut.
They have only been looking for a left-handed difference maker since Rafael Palmeiro was traded away before the 1989 season and with the exception of Mark Grace, who never drove in 100 runs but was a solid hitter, the Cubs have been almost devoid of left-handed run production in the past 20 years.
Rizzo should be an important core piece as Epstein and Hoyer continue their overhaul of the worst team in baseball and if he is what they expect him to be, it would be cool to say you saw his first game ever in a Cubs uniform.
That opportunity should come early this week at Wrigley Field.