Cubs place 1B Rizzo on DL with back tightness

CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Cubs are taking the safe route with Anthony Rizzo, placing the first baseman on the 10-day disabled list on Tuesday with lower back tightness.

Rizzo hasn’t played since he went 0 for 5 in Thursday’s 8-0 win at Milwaukee. The 28-year-old slugger is a key part of Chicago’s lineup, hitting 32 homers and driving in 109 runs in each of the past two years.

“It stinks, especially not being able to play the home opener,” Rizzo said. “But it’s a long season. It’s a marathon. You got to stay smart and that’s what we’re doing.”

Rizzo said he is feeling better and hopes to be ready when he is eligible to come off the DL on Monday. The move was made retroactive to Friday.

“Usually, you know, if it’s July, August, September, you mentally grind through it and as long as you can move you can play,” he said. “But this is one of those things where we talked and we don’t want to, I don’t want to be locked up the entire year. So hopefully we put a nip to it the next five days here and don’t have to deal with this hopefully for the rest of my career.”

Infielder/outfielder Efren Navarro was promoted from Triple-A Iowa to take Rizzo’s spot on the roster. Navarro is a .243 hitter with three homers and 22 RBIs in 153 career major league games with the Angels and Tigers.

Ben Zobrist started at first base for Tuesday’s home opener against Pittsburgh.

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