Rizzo looks back on Major League debut

Rizzo looks back on Major League debut

PITTSBURGH -- Three years ago, Anthony Rizzo was promoted from the Minor Leagues to the Padres, and made his Major League debut on June 9 against the Nationals. Now with the Cubs, Rizzo has a good idea about what the Pirates' Gregory Polanco is feeling as the highly touted outfielder was called up on Tuesday.

"It's exciting," Rizzo said. "You embrace it. Hopefully, he can play for a long time in this league -- that's what everyone thinks when they get called up."

That's what Rizzo thought, but the first baseman found himself back in the Minor Leagues after batting .143 in 35 games with the Padres.

"Rizzo was doing extremely well in the Minor Leagues and he had a little hiccup," said Cubs manager Rick Renteria, who was on the Padres big league coaching staff at that time. "It wasn't that he wasn't going to be able to perform here. You could tell he just wasn't quite ready and there was a lot of anxiousness and desire to get there.

"There was a lot of clamoring and a lot of pushing for him because his numbers looked good in the Minor Leagues," Renteria said. "Some guys transition easier, some guys don't. All things being equal, I think sometimes you err on the side of caution."

That's the approach the Cubs are taking with their own young talent, Kris Bryant, who leads the Southern League in all three Triple Crown categories, hitting his 22nd homer on Monday for Double-A Tennessee. Would Rizzo like to see Bryant get bumped up?

"I like what we have up here," Rizzo said of the current Cubs. "Whatever guys are doing in the Minor Leagues, it's great. It's not easy to do, because it is the Minors, and you're playing in front of a thousand people, if that. I like what we have here, and I like what we keep developing."

The Pirates have Polanco, the Astros promoted prospects George Springer and Jon Singleton. What about Bryant?

"I want to see Bryant when he's ready to be seen," Renteria said. "I get all of that, but I'm not going to base our thinking on what other people are doing. We have to do what we think is right for us."

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.