Cubs Notes Roundup: Anthony Rizzo Eyeing Return

Before a frustrating performance on Monday night against the Toronto Blue Jays, the Cubs received a bit of good news.

Anthony Rizzo may be back in the lineup soon.

Mark Gonzales reported that Rizzo took swings and fielded ground balls prior to the game, and said he believes he could return this weekend. Rizzo has been dealing with a back injury and hasn’t played since Aug. 26.

Despite Rizzo’s optimism, manager Rick Renteria may decide to keep him on the bench and make sure the back is fully healed. “I’ll reserve my optimism,” Renteria  told “Today is the first day where he’s gone out there. He’s trying to see how his body is feeling, but I’ll just say we’ll keep digging it as it comes.”

The all-star first-baseman has an impressive .278/.375/.514 line on the season to go along with 30 home runs.

Other notes

* Monday night’s game against the Blue Jays was the first time the Cubs played in Toronto since Lou Piniella’s 2008 club, which finished with the best record in the National League that year.

* Toronto starting pitcher Marcus Stroman, who was often linked in trade rumors with the Cubs and Jeff Samardzija before this year’s deadline, shut out the Cubs on Monday — and made it look easy. He needed only 93 pitches, giving up three singles. At one point, he retired 19 batters in a row, and the Cubs did not have anyone reach past first base.

* The Cubs announced the tentative schedule for 2015, and it will open with a series beginning April 6 against the rival Cardinals at Wrigley Field. It will be the first time they’ve faced St. Louis in a season opener since 1991, and only the fourth time in the past 14 seasons that they will open the year at Wrigley. The Cubs will battle the White Sox six times in 2015 (as opposed to the four games this year).

* The Daytona Cubs lost 4-2 to the Fort Myers Miracle in 11 innings. They have been eliminated from the Florida State League Championship.

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