Anthony Rizzo would love invite to Home Run Derby
BY Gordon Wittenmyer Staff Reporter June 25, 2014 10:07PM
Updated: July 27, 2014 8:35AM
One day after White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu said he would reject an invitation, Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo said he would love to be in the Home Run Derby.
Rizzo, who’s tied for third in the National League with 17 home runs, is making a push for his first All-Star selection. But even if he doesn’t make the cut for the game on July 15 in Minneapolis, he’s eligible for the derby if NL derby captain Troy Tulowitzki of the Colorado Rockies invites him.
“That would be something that would be really cool for my family and myself, and everyone who grew up with me and helped me along the way,” said Rizzo, who had homered in three of his last four games entering Wednesday’s game.
“As a kid, you dream of certain things. One of them’s to win the World Series, Game 7, in the bottom of the ninth. Another one, you always had a home-run derby. . . . So it would be fun just to participate. If I did get the opportunity it would be awesome.”
Unlike Abreu and other sluggers wary of the event, Rizzo said he’s not concerned that a night of batting-practice home-run swings will adversely affect his swing coming out of the All-Star break.
“I think I’d be able to get my [swing back]. My BP’s pretty simple,” he said. “It’s not like I’m trying to hit home runs in batting practice. I could when I want to. I just think it’d be more fun than anything else.”
With a doubleheader scheduled for Saturday, the Cubs plan to call up Class AAA right-hander Dallas Beeler to start the noon game in his major-league debut.
Teams are allowed to add a 26th player to the roster for doubleheaders, and the date falls on Beeler’s natural pitching schedule.
One of the options for that start would have been veteran swingman Carlos Villanueva, who made four starts in April before Jake Arrieta returned from the disabled list.
“We just felt it behooves us to go ahead and bring somebody that’s been starting right now,” manager Rick Renteria said. “It doesn’t hurt to have Beeler come up here and be seen and go ahead and put his efforts forward for us at this particular time.”
Beeler (5-3, 4.03 in 10 starts for Iowa) makes his debut four years after being drafted in the 41st round out of Oral Roberts.
Nine of Rizzo’s 11 home runs since May 8 have given the Cubs the lead. Another tied the game.
◆ Saturday’s doubleheader was scheduled to create an open date Sunday to help accommodate traffic flow for the Pride Parade.
◆ Starlin Castro drove in the Cubs’ only run in the 4-1 loss to the Reds, giving him a team-leading 45 RBI, one more than his season total for 2013.
◆ Starter Edwin Jackson failed to pitch out of the sixth inning, giving him only four quality starts in 16 outings.