MILWAUKEE -- Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo got his first scheduled day off of the year Friday as the Cubs opened a weekend series against the Brewers at Miller Park.
Like everyone else around the Cubs, Rizzo has been following the never-ending saga of the proposed renovation of Wrigley Field.
The team unveiled some ambitious new plans this week, and those plans included a 30,000-square-foot clubhouse facility. The Cubs would like to get moving on those plans in July and have the clubhouse ready for Opening Day 2016, but they face an uphill battle with the city of Chicago on that timetable.
Plans for the renovation originally were announced at the Cubs convention in January 2013.
"They told us again we were going to get approved; it didn't get approved," Rizzo said. "I know a lot of guys are not happy about that. It's kind of shame. You get kind of excited about it. Give them credit that they're working their tails off. Again, it got shut down. It's kind of a bummer because we thought it was going to happen. It's kind of just wait and see like everyone else."
The proposed new clubhouse facilities would triple the size of what the Cubs have now.
"It all looks really good, and everyone's excited about it," Rizzo said. "I think it's great they said we're going to go on with it. Obviously it's about the fans and preserving Wrigley as much as we can and adding to it.
"I've only been here two years, and guys before me have heard it before. It was going to change. It was going to happen. I don't know what's going on. Obviously it's not my job to do. We all want it but when guys are promised things are going to happen and they don't happen, they're not happy about it. When it gets done, it's going to be great. Now it's, 'OK, when it gets done, it gets done.'"
Getting guys a breather:
With Anthony Rizzo not starting Friday, it's possible shortstop Starlin Castro will get Sunday off. The Cubs have another off-day Monday before coming home. Like Rizzo, Castro entered Friday having started every game.
"It makes sense," said Cubs manager Rick Renteria.
Both Castro and Rizzo like to play every day, but Rizzo said he was OK with having at least the start of Friday's game off.
"They told me last week," he said. "Two days in a row is usually pretty good."
The Cubs activated Pedro Strop (groin) from the disabled list Friday and placed reliever Hector Rondon on the paternity list. Rick Renteria said Rondon's wife Keilin gave birth to a baby boy early Friday.
Reliever Wesley Wright is back from paternity leave, with right-hander Blake Parker having been sent back to Class AAA Iowa.