MESA, Ariz. -- Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo said Wednesday he is heartened that teams will wear the baseball caps of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School during Friday's exhibition-game openers.
Rizzo attended Stoneman Douglas, where 17 people were killed last week in a mass shooting. On Monday, Rizzo returned from a trip home, where he spoke at a vigil for the victims.
"I think it's awesome," Rizzo said. "It's cool we get the support. The ties are deeper for me than the rest of the league, but it's really neat that Major League Baseball is recognizing what happened in the country."
Early rotation set:
The Cubs have set their starting pitchers for the first three Cactus League games. There are no big names among them.
Left-hander Michael Roth, a nonroster invitee, will start Friday's away game against the Milwaukee Brewers. Eddie Butler, who saw big-league time with the Cubs last year, will start Saturday's home opener against the Texas Rangers.
Jen-Ho Tseng, who made his big-league debut last season, will work Sunday's road game against the San Francisco Giants.
Defending mound trips:
Major League Baseball still has to work out the details of its new rules to improve the pace of play. One of those rules will be to limit mound visits to six per game.
On Tuesday, Cubs catcher Willson Contreras said he would be glad to pay a fine for exceeding the limit. Contreras is a catcher who makes frequent trips to the mound during games.
"Here's the thing," said manager Joe Maddon. "A lot of this rule change has been built around the concept that people have been cheating through technology. That's my least amount of concern. My concern about the trip is that we could communicate exactly what we want to do in a moment, and that's what (Contreras) does primarily. We scout heavily. We have an absolute game plan before the game begins. And we're really good at following it.
"Sometimes, the guy out there forgets. And the only time I get really upset in the dugout … for two reasons: missed signs and when a catcher doesn't go talk to the pitcher because the catcher knew what the right thing to throw was, and the pitcher keeps shaking him off. You finally concede, permit him to do what he wants and the ball is off the wall. That's not been discussed enough. That's where I want the trip."