Cubs use lefty-throwing Anthony Rizzo at 3B, 'which is fun'

Sporting News

Joe Maddon has never been afraid of the unconventional, and his latest step outside the box resulted in something Cubs fans hadn't seen in 131 years.

After Kris Bryant got hit in the hand by a pitch in the ninth inning Tuesday night, Maddon moved Anthony Rizzo from first base to third, making him the first left-handed thrower to play there for the Cubs since Jimmy Ryan in 1886. The last lefty thrower to play third in the majors was Mario Valdez of the White Sox July 2, 1997.

Maddon already had used infielders Tommy La Stella and Ben Zobrist, so his options to replace Bryant at third were moving Rizzo from first or Alex Avila from catcher. He opted for the former, putting Avila at first and bringing Rene Rivera off the bench to catch the final inning.

"Either Avila at third, which is no fun," Maddon said, via the Chicago Tribune, "or Rizzo at third, Avila at first, which is fun. That’s how we did it."

Sadly, Rizzo's lefty arm wasn't needed in the bottom of the ninth, as the Reds were retired on a groundout to Zobrist at second and a pair of strikeouts.

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