Rizzo late scratch on Friday with stiff back

Rizzo late scratch on Friday with stiff back

ATLANTA -- First baseman Anthony Rizzo was a late scratch from Friday's Cubs lineup because of a stiff back.

"He's absolutely day to day," manager Joe Maddon said. "We thought it was the right thing to do to not play him. We don't see it as being awful -- it's just one of those things, it just tightened up."

Rizzo did not complain about his back during Wednesday's game in Philadelphia, and Thursday was an off-day for the Cubs. The first baseman is the top vote-getter in the National League All-Star balloting, receiving more than 1.2 million votes.

Javier Baez started at first base in Rizzo's place, batting sixth. He went hitless in three at-bats in a 5-1 loss to the Braves.

Worth noting

David Ross, 39, has been teased quite a bit by his teammates about his age, and the Cubs are taking advantage of it in an ad campaign to cast All-Star votes. In the latest clip, Ross is dialing "#VoteCubs" on a rotary phone.

Rizzo's response on Twitter: "Grandpa Rossy had to explain to me what a rotary phone was. #oldman #MAKESUREYOUVOTE #davidrossISanallstar"

Ross does remember having a rotary phone.

"When I was growing up, we had one in the kitchen by the dining room table on the wall," Ross said. "It had a chord that went all the way through the house. It was completely stretched out by year end."

There are two more ads coming in which Ross shows his age. Stay tuned.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.