{}
CLOSE

Now Commenting On:

Rizzo reflects on time in San Diego

Rizzo reflects on time in San Diego

|
Rizzo reflects on time in San Diego
SAN DIEGO -- The last time the Cubs' Anthony Rizzo was in uniform at Petco Park, he was playing first base in a game between the Padres and the Cubs on Sept. 28, 2011. The 22-year-old, then with the Padres, went 0-for-3 in what turned out to be his last game of the season to finish a disappointing first taste of Major League action with a .141 batting average in 128 at-bats.

Flash forward to Monday, when Rizzo returned to Petco, playing first base in a Cubs-Padres game, though this time in Cubs colors. But more has changed than the jersey for the man named the National League's Rookie of the Month in July. Rizzo has a shorter swing, a high average and has sustained the success he simply could not find in San Diego.

"The ballpark could've been a T-ball field and I wouldn't have hit a ball," Rizzo said. "I just wasn't hitting the ball. I was not hitting the fastball -- or pretty much anything."

Rizzo owns a .310 average and nine home runs in 33 games with the Cubs. He hit .330 with seven home runs in 97 July at-bats and had the go-ahead hit in his Cubs' debut on June 28 to endear himself to the Wrigley Field faithful.

That kind of early success was something that eluded Rizzo when he was called up to the Padres, though he says having that experience in San Diego readied him to do better the second time around.

"The first time around here was crazy and it was a lot to take in. ... [It] obviously didn't go the way I wanted to," Rizzo said. "I was prepared more this time coming up, took things with a grain of salt and was more anxious to get on the field than anything."

Rizzo was traded this offseason for pitcher Andrew Cashner, who is currently on the disabled list with a strained right lat muscle. While Rizzo says he treasures the opportunity to play in front of the fans at Wrigley, he had mixed feelings about the trade.

"I made a lot of relationships here with the Padres," Rizzo said. "I was very grateful to be here; I loved playing here."

"[The Cubs] gave up Andrew Cashner, who is a very good pitcher, it's an honor to be traded for him," Rizzo added, "especially after my stint last year."

{}
{}
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español