Pacific Coast League: Rizzo looks big-league ready

San Diego fans would like to see call-up, but infielder stays patient
2011-05-18T00:00:00Z 2014-07-09T11:41:31Z Pacific Coast League: Rizzo looks big-league readySarah Trotto Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
May 18, 2011 12:00 am  • 

Less than six weeks into the baseball season, Anthony Rizzo has driven in 50 runs, 10 more than anyone else in the Pacific Coast League.

He has recovered from a bone bruise in his left hand and has bounced back from a small skid during the Tucson Padres' latest homestand.

At one point, he snapped out of a 1-for-11 "slump" with a two-run single. And he hit his first multi-home run game in Triple-A Monday when he belted two-run and three-run drives, his 11th and 12th homers.

So, how does the 21-year-old remain patient while San Diego Padres fans ponder when he'll receive his major-league debut? He credited a laid-back atmosphere.

"We have a good team," Rizzo said before Tuesday night's 11-9 loss to Albuquerque in 12 innings. "It's easy to be in this clubhouse with all the guys and mess around and not get tied up in the other stuff. I just kinda hang around here and play baseball. Whatever happens, happens."

He missed the May 10-11 games after the hand swelled after he was jammed during an at-bat in Fresno.

He said the hand has been sore, but Monday he hit his first home runs since May 7.

He was 2 for 6 with a double and a walk in Tuesday's game against Albuquerque and is hitting .374.

"It feels better every day," he said.

As Rizzo continues to thrive offensively in his first Triple-A season, the big-league Padres will likely want to see him show consistency at various ballparks and against left-handed pitching, as well as play consistent defense, manager Terry Kennedy said.

"He doesn't discuss, 'When am I going to go up?'" Kennedy said. "He's just working on his stuff."

Against right-handers, Rizzo was hitting .389 (44 for 113) before Tuesday.

He has had far fewer opportunities against lefties, batting .321 (9 for 28).

"The more I see, the more comfortable I'll get," Rizzo said.

Roster moves galore

The major-league Padres recalled right-handed reliever Pat Neshek, who had a 1.86 ERA in nine games for Tucson. 

Infielder Logan Forsythe was optioned to Tucson and is expected to join the team today for its road trip. He can play second, shortstop and third for Tucson.

San Diego promoted Forsythe on May 4. He went 0 for 7 with a walk and made one start, at second.

Infielder Andy Parrino came off the disabled list. Infielder Anthony Contreras went to Double-A.

Catcher Jhonaldo Pozo arrived from extended spring training to fill in for catcher Guillermo Quiroz, who is sick.

Checking in

In his start Monday, left-hander Wade LeBlanc went seven innings for the second consecutive start and for the fifth time in six starts. He allowed three runs, struck out a season-high eight and walked two to improve to 3-0.

"With the exception of the last two games, I've been able to keep the ball in the yard, so any time you can do that, it gives you a pretty decent chance of getting some outs," he said. "I've been able to limit walks for the most part, getting ahead in the count rather than constantly working behind in the count. A combination of all those things allows you to work deep in games."

Inside pitch

• On Tuesday, Matt Clark hit his seventh home run of the season and fifth of the homestand.

Up next

• Who: Padres at Iowa Cubs

• When: 4:35 p.m. Thursday

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