Renteria's job safe despite Cubs' poor start

The Cubs are off to the same kind of start they got off to under former manager Dale Sveum in 2012 and 2013. That is to say a very poor start.

The manager in charge now is Rick Renteria, and his boss said that as was the case with Sveum, Renteria is not being judged on wins and losses.

That's a good thing for Renteria, because he has been handed a roster that likely wouldn't win if all things were to break right.

"Very happy," Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said Thursday. "He creates a great environment for these guys. A lot of guys are playing much better than last year. We've given him a very young team. We've given him a very young bullpen that doesn't have a lot of experience. I think he's managed that really well.

"I like the tone. Obviously the results, the wins and losses, are probably no different than it was with Dale. We're not in a place right now where we're going to evaluate him based on the standings in the paper in the morning."

Hitting the eject button:

Rick Renteria was tossed out of a game for the third time this season Wednesday night. He was unhappy with several calls by home-plate umpire Tom Woodring. Renteria said Thursday he had moved on.

"I don't like being ejected," he said. "They (the umpires) do a great job. It's a very difficult job they do. It's not my intent to show up an umpire or try to make them feel uncomfortable.

"Last night happened, it's over, and today's a new day."

Jed Hoyer backed his manager.

"I think you have to stand up for your guys," the GM said. "When your players are frustrated, there are times when you have to vocalize that. Obviously there are fewer ejections now with instant replay so those things kind of stand out more. I understood his frustration."

Who's (best) on first?

Jed Hoyer tried to put his perspective on the comparisons made between Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo and the White Sox' Jose Abreu, who is off to a hot start.

"It's a pretty nuanced question," Hoyer said. "I tip my cap to them (the Sox). They gave him a very good contract and he's performed - don't know what their expectations were - but certainly at or above expectations. He looks like a slugger. We have Anthony Rizzo, a guy we committed money to, who we feel really good about, who is demonstrating why we feel really good about him.

"In our situation, in the National League, where we have a young left-handed hitting first baseman, that (Abreu) wasn't a player that we were interested in. Had there been a player with his profile that played outfield or maybe played a different position, we would have been involved as well. I look at it as I tip my cap to the White Sox for making a good investment. He should be a guy people have fun watching for a long time."

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