Zobrist rests day after HBP; Rizzo, Montero return

Zobrist rests day after HBP; Rizzo, Montero return

MIAMI -- The Cubs got first baseman Anthony Rizzo and catcher Miguel Montero back in the lineup on Saturday, but second baseman Ben Zobrist did not start to nurse a tender left ankle, bruised when he was hit by a pitch on Friday.

"He's just really sore," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said of Zobrist, who leads all National League second basemen in the latest All-Star balloting. "He's not permanently injured, he's just sore."

Zobrist was able to run in the outfield prior to Saturday's game.

Rizzo missed two games because of tightness in his lower back, while Montero has not played since Wednesday when he had to leave the game with some soreness in his right knee after an awkward play at the plate. The top vote-getter in the National League All-Star balloting, Rizzo was back in the No. 3 spot in the Cubs' lineup on Saturday.

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"'Riz is the big thing," Maddon said. "Putting him in the three-hole and having [Albert Almora Jr.] hitting ninth gives a little better feel to [the lineup] coming around. I'm just looking forward to getting everybody back. We just have to hold serve."

• Maddon wanted to make sure Willson Contreras was in the lineup on Saturday, even if he was starting in left field. The rookie catcher has a six-game hitting streak to begin his Major League career. Contreras was riding a 20-game hitting streak when he was promoted to the big leagues.

Contreras' two-run homer

Contreras hasn't played in the outfield since starting in right in 2013 for Class A Kane County. Contreras has made six starts in left in the Minor Leagues.

"It's a big field, big gaps," Contreras said. "I have experience in the Minor Leagues. It's been a little while since I've played in the outfield, but I'll do my job."

Coach Dave Martinez worked with Contreras in left on Friday, and he said the youngster should be able to handle the job.

"I'll do the same things I've been doing my whole career," Contreras said.

Tommy La Stella was feeling pretty good after Coastal Carolina beat TCU on Friday in the College World Series. La Stella appeared in 125 games for the Chanticleers in 2010-11, and he batted .388 with 28 home runs and 136 RBIs. He was roommates at the school with the current catching coach, Tucker Frawley, and met with the players last November.

"We've been able to maintain some contact throughout the season," La Stella said.

La Stella has helped the young players as well.

"I wouldn't call it advice -- I'm a resource," La Stella said. "If they ever want to reach out and talk about something, I told them I'm here for whatever they need."

He has a good relationship with third baseman Zach Remillard, who was selected in the 10th round of the MLB Draft by the White Sox.

"That's one who was really special," La Stella said.

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.