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Anticipation for Rizzo's arrival builds

Anticipation for Rizzo's arrival builds

Anticipation for Rizzo's arrival builds
PHOENIX -- A coach with the Brewers when Ryan Braun made his long-awaited Major League debut, Cubs manager Dale Sveum knows the circus that can follow a highly-regarded prospect when he gets promoted.

But Sveum admitted on Saturday he has never experienced the sort of buildup going on now, as the team awaits the promotion of first baseman Anthony Rizzo from Triple-A Iowa.

"Braun didn't play that much in the Minor Leagues, and he didn't put up these huge numbers," Sveum said. "I don't think I've been around anybody that has had this much hype."

In 67 games this season, Rizzo is batting .355 with 62 RBIs and a Pacific Coast League-leading 23 home runs.

With all the excitement surrounding Rizzo's eventual promotion, which Sveum said is inevitable, the amount of pressure on the 22-year-old when he gets to the big leagues will be understandably high. The club, however, thinks its top prospect can handle it.

"Just being around him in Spring Training, he seemed to be a guy that's very ahead of the game, maturity-wise," Sveum said. "He has a lot of those leadership skills. I think we all have to be patient, though, and understand the game here is a lot different than Triple-A."

Sveum still doesn't have an exact date for when the team will call up Rizzo, but he and the other coaches are beginning to have conversations as to where the first baseman should hit in the lineup.

"We've talked about it, but we haven't come up with a solution," Sveum said. "It'd be nice to have a guy hitting behind him. Whenever you have somebody with that hype and that much ability, I think it always helps to have someone hit behind him.

"It would be nice to have some extra fire power in the lineup on an everyday basis. It's always nice to have guys that can hit a home run in any at-bat."

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