Rizzo has mixed emotions about latest move to leadoff spot

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • In an effort to shake up the Cubs' offense, manager David Ross decided to use an old Joe Maddon tactic and move Anthony Rizzo to the leadoff spot.

    In an effort to shake up the Cubs' offense, manager David Ross decided to use an old Joe Maddon tactic and move Anthony Rizzo to the leadoff spot. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 4/28/2021 8:14 PM

In an effort to shake up the Cubs offense, manager David Ross turned to one of Joe Maddon's favorite ploys -- moving Anthony Rizzo to the leadoff spot.

Before Wednesday's game in Atlanta, Rizzo admitted to having mixed emotions about batting first. He was asked if he ever imagines being a full-time leadoff man.

 

"I never wonder that and I hope it never happens," Rizzo said. "It's not really something I enjoy that much, leading off. It's fun for a little bit, but my whole life, I like hitting 3, 4, 5 and driving in the runs. Not to say the leadoff spot doesn't have RBI opportunities.

"But it's a different mentality and just something that I think the next generation of leadoff hitters might be different. But the way I was brought up in this game, it's just a psychologically weird thing leading off."

Rizzo was talking about how, in his mind, a leadoff man is supposed to make contact, coax walks and steal bases, like Ricky Henderson or Tim Raines. He doesn't fit that mold, but MLB as a whole has become more slug, less contact.

"I just want to win," Rizzo said. "Rossy mentioned it to me and just asked how I felt about it. I said, 'Yeah, I'm all for it.' Whatever helps and whatever it takes. Hopefully it's one of those things where it jump-starts me a little bit and it jump starts our team.

by signing up you agree to our terms of service
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"It's just fun and exciting. I'm probably going to be swinging out of my shoes on the first pitch if it's a fastball today. You just have fun with it, that first at-bat. Next thing you know, you're up again in eight more batters. It comes around quick. It's just different leading off. I like it in short, sporadic moments."

Rizzo actually struck out on a pitch in the dirt in his first at-bat. Ian Happ, hitting just .139, was not in Wednesday's lineup. Ross said he envisions Happ eventually returning to the leadoff spot long-term.

Twitter: @McGrawDHBulls

0 Comments
 

Get articles sent to your inbox.

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.