Anthony Rizzo blames bad back, trip to DL on hotel bed
The Chicago Cubs on Tuesday morning announced that first baseman Anthony Rizzo was placed on the 10-day DL with “lower back tightness.”
#Cubs have placed 1B Anthony Rizzo on the 10-day DL (retroactive to April 6) with lower back tightness and selected the contract of IF/OF Efren Navarro from @IowaCubs. pic.twitter.com/YlDqgnDwNv
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) April 10, 2018
But it’s what Rizzo is blaming his latest bout with back troubles on is what makes this a quintessentially odd MLB injury story. Rizzo believes his bed at the team hotel during a recent visit to Cincinnati to play the Reds may have been the cause.
“I think the next time I go [to Cincinnati], I’ll sleep on the floor,” Rizzo said, via ESPN. “I just have to take care of myself better.”
Rizzo revealed the back tightness started last Monday during the Cubs’ two-day visit to Cincinnati. Although the 28-year-old infielder tried to play through it until taking a seat for Friday’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers in the midst of a four-game set.
“Usually it’s July, August, September,” Rizzo said of past issues with his back. “You mentally grind through it, and as long as you can move, you can play. This is one of those things where we talked and I don’t want to be locked up for the entire year.
“Hopefully, we put a nip to it the next five days and don’t have to deal with it.”
Rizzo, upon the realization he would have to head to the disabled list for the first time in his career, didn’t hide his disappointment.
“It stinks, especially to not be able to play the home opener,” Rizzo said Tuesday, via MLB.com. “It’s a long season, it’s a marathon and you have to stay smart, and that’s what we’re doing.”
Rizzo has opened his 2018 campaign in a bit of a slump, batting .107 with one homer and three RBI in 28 at-bats over six games. It’s of course reasonable to blame some of his early struggles on his wonky back, a setback evidently brought on by a presumably uncomfortable hotel bed.