Cubs 1B Rizzo departs with ankle injury

Field Level Media

September 16, 2019 at 12:35 am.

Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo departed Sunday’s victory against the Pittsburgh Pirates with a sprained right ankle.

The team said X-rays didn’t reveal a fracture. Rizzo is scheduled to undergo an MRI exam on Monday to determine the severity.

“On the field, he was in some pretty good pain. You knew he was coming out of the game,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said in his postgame press conference. “We’ll wait and see how it plays out. There’s the potential that it’s not going to be that long. Let’s just remain optimistic and see what they say.”

Rizzo was injured when he charged to field a bunt single off the bat of Pittsburgh pitcher Trevor Williams in the third inning with a runner on second and none out. His ankle rolled in an unsightly manner just prior to gloving the bunt and he dropped to the grass in obvious pain after throwing the ball to first.

The 30-year-old Rizzo was eventually helped to his feet and outfielder Jason Heyward and a member of the team’s medical crew helped him get to the dugout.

“It was just awkward, the way he twisted and fell,” Maddon said. “Had the ball been bunted harder, he would’ve had a play at third. But the way he checked up, that kind of caused the way he fielded the ball and then the reaction on the throw.”

Ian Happ replaced Rizzo at first base.

Rizzo is batting .289 with 26 homers and a team-best 93 RBIs.

The injury to Rizzo comes at a time in which another key offensive cog, shortstop Javier Baez, is out for the rest of the regular season with a hairline fracture of his left thumb.

Slugger Kris Bryant was keeping a positive outlook after the Cubs overcame Rizzo’s loss to rack up 19 hits in a convincing 16-6 triumph.

“We’ve been doing it all year,” Bryant said. “Anthony’s in good spirits, so hopefully we have him back soon. We’re going to need him. But I don’t know how long it’s going to be.”

Also, the Cubs placed shortstop Addison Russell on the seven-day concussion list. The 25-year-old hasn’t played since being hit in the head by a pitch on Sept. 8. Russell is batting .227 with nine homers and 23 RBIs.