Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo left Sunday’s matchup with the Pirates in the third inning after he rolled his right ankle attempting to field a bunt. He underwent preliminary X-rays after the game, which revealed that he avoided a fracture, but suffered a sprained ankle, per The Athletic’s Sahadev Sharma. He’s ticketed for an MRI on Monday, which will determine with greater precision the severity of the injury.
Of course, Rizzo and the Cubs aren’t out of the woods yet: though he didn’t fracture the ankle, a sprained ankle could still keep the slugger out for an extended period of time, depending on its severity.
If indeed Rizzo is required to miss time, it would only compound the Cubs’ injury frustrations that have taken hold of late. As the team takes aim at a postseason berth, star shortstop Javier Baez has been ruled out for the regular season, with his replacement Addison Russell landing in concussion protocol shortly thereafter. Meanwhile, closer Craig Kimbrel is fighting through elbow inflammation and has been unavailable for the last two weeks.
And while the Cubs are deep enough to tread water without team leaders and lineup stalwarts Baez and Rizzo, such a formula is less than ideal for the September stretch run, let alone in a postseason series. As the Cubs collectively hold their breath on the results of Rizzo’s MRI, look for Ian Happ and Victor Caratini to cover for him in the near-term.
For the season, Rizzo has slashed .289/.402/.516 with 26 home runs. Since joining the Cubs, he’s been a paragon of consistency and durability, playing 140 games or more in every year from 2013-2018 (He currently sits at 139 for this year).