Cubs recall first baseman Anthony Rizzo

CHICAGO – The Chicago Cubs today recalled first baseman Anthony Rizzo from Triple-A Iowa.  In a corresponding move, the Cubs optioned infielder Adrian Cardenas to Triple-A Iowa after last night’s game.

Rizzo, who will wear uniform number 44, will make the start at first base tonight against the New York Mets at Wrigley Field.

The 22-year-old Rizzo joins the Cubs after batting .342 (88-for-257) with 18 doubles, two triples, 23 home runs and 62 RBI in 70 games with Iowa this season.  He posted a .405 on-base percentage and a .696 slugging percentage, good for a 1.101 OPS.  Rizzo departs Triple-A ranked among Pacific Coast League leaders in nearly every offensive category, including home runs (first), OPS (first), total bases (first with 179), slugging percentage (first), RBI (third), batting average (sixth) and on-base percentage (ninth).

Rizzo batted .141 (18-for-128) with eight doubles, one triple, one homer and nine RBI in 49 games with San Diego in 2011, making his big league debut at the age of 21.  He began the 2011 campaign by hitting .365 (73-for-200) with 16 home runs and 63 RBI in his first 52 games with Triple-A Tucson to earn his first call-up to the big leagues, making his debut on June 9.  He spent six weeks in the big leagues before being optioned to Triple-A on July 21.  He returned to the big leagues September 4 and finished the season on the major league roster.

Overall, Rizzo batted .331 (118-for-356) with 34 doubles, 26 home runs and 101 RBI in 93 games for San Diego’s Tucson affiliate last season, his first-career stop at Triple-A.  Entering the 2012 season, he had reached 100 RBI in his last two minor league years, a milestone he was easily on pace to maintain in 2012.

Rizzo was acquired by Chicago from San Diego last January 6.  He was originally selected by the Boston Red Sox in the sixth round of the 2007 Draft out of high school.  Rizzo was limited to 21 minor league games in 2008 after being diagnosed with Limited Stage Classical Hodgkins Lymphoma in late April.  He returned a season later to lead all Red Sox minor leaguers with a .368 on-base percentage and ranked third in the system with a .297 batting average between Single-A Greenville and Single-A Salem.

The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Rizzo was acquired by the Padres as part of the five-player deal that sent Adrian Gonzalez to the Red Sox on December 6, 2010.  A native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., he has batted .303 (513-for-1,693) with 137 doubles, 87 home runs and 343 RBI in 445 career minor league games covering six seasons. 

Cardenas batted .189 (7-for-37) with five doubles and one RBI in 25 games with the Cubs since his May 7 call-up to Chicago.  He began the season by batting .319 (30-for-94) with seven doubles, three triples, two home runs, 11 runs scored and 18 RBI in 26 games with Iowa.