04/13/2013 1:15 PM ET
Rizzo seeing success swinging at first pitch
By Carrie Muskat / MLB.com
CHICAGO -- Anthony Rizzo has three home runs, and all three have come off the first pitch.
"The objective of the pitchers is to throw first-pitch strikes," Rizzo said. "If it's there, I'm going to hit it. If I don't recognize it, I'll lay off it. That's just how it goes, is that first pitch is a home run. It doesn't matter if it's the first pitch or pitch [No.] 10, I'm just trying to put the ball in play and hit it hard."
Rizzo also has struck out six times in his last nine at-bats.
"Most of the time, when these things happen, you get caught up in one, maybe guessing too much, trying to figure the pitcher out, and worrying about maybe mechanics," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "The bottom line is, then you miss the fastball that you should've put in play and hit hard, fouled it off or swung and missed because you're looking soft. I think it's a little bit of a combination of a few things."
Rizzo knows what he has to do.
"It's just putting good contact on it and not try to do too much," he said. "Those strikeouts are a byproduct of me trying to hit three home runs in one at-bat when I can just put the ball in the left-center gap and see what happens."
On Friday night he attended the Blackhawks NHL game and tried to score a goal from center ice during intermission. He missed.
"It was fun," Rizzo said. "I wasn't expecting to make it. It was fun to get it close."
Fujikawa heads to DL with strained right forearm
CHICAGO -- The Cubs placed closer Kyuji Fujikawa on the 15-day disabled list Saturday because of a strained right forearm, and will go with a closer by committee for now.
Fujikawa, who blew a save situation on Friday but ended up with the win as the Cubs rallied against the Giants, has apparently been dealing with the discomfort in his forearm for a few days.
"The last couple days, it's been bothering him a little bit," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said.
Fujikawa tried to make it work on Friday.
"He even admitted that to stay away from discomfort, he was changing his arm angle," Sveum said.
A closer for Hanshin in Japan for 12 years before signing with the Cubs this offseason, Fujikawa said he's had this problem in the past and it usually sidelined him for 10 days. The move is precautionary, the pitcher said.
"Being in an important role with the team, if it's not helping the team and hurting them, it's better to make a decision," Fujikawa said through interpreter Ryo Shinkawa.
Fujikawa replaced Carlos Marmol as the closer last Sunday in Atlanta, but Sveum won't automatically go back to Marmol to finish games now. Shawn Camp and James Russell will likely be given the duties.
"It'll probably come down to matchups and what happened earlier in the game," Sveum said. "I don't think I'll use Marmol right now. That will be on down the road if anything like that happens. I want to keep [Marmol] in the role we talked about a few days ago. We're not going to change that."
Fujikawa was not expected to undergo an MRI.
The Cubs recalled right-hander Rafael Dolis from Triple-A Iowa to take Fujikawa's place. Dolis, 25, has made three relief appearances at Iowa this season, during which he has given up one earned run over 2 1/3 innings.
• Scott Feldman, bothered by tightness in his back, will take advantage of Monday's off-day and be skipped one turn in the Cubs rotation.
Feldman was originally scheduled to start Wednesday against his former team, the Rangers, in the second game of an Interleague series, but now will not start until Saturday when the Cubs are playing the Brewers at Miller Park.
The Cubs' rotation against the Rangers now will be Travis Wood, Carlos Villanueva and Jeff Samardzija.
• Second baseman Darwin Barney flew to Des Moines on Saturday to begin a Minor League rehab assignment. Barney, out since March 30 with a left knee laceration, was expected to play Saturday, Sunday and Monday for the Triple-A Iowa team, and rejoin Chicago on Tuesday. Barney was injured sliding into the right-field wall at Minute Maid Park on March 30.
• Third baseman Ian Stewart was also headed to Iowa on Saturday and will begin a rehab assignment on Sunday. He did not play in any Cactus League games because of a strained left quad, which he injured in the first intrasquad game on Feb. 21.
• Scott Baker, who is still rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, which he had one year ago, was in Chicago to be re-examined by team orthopedic specialist Dr. Stephen Gryzlo. Baker has been training at the Cubs' facility in Mesa, Ariz. There's no timetable for his return.
• Steve Clevenger could start at third base Sunday in the Cubs' series finale against the Giants. Clevenger made his first start on Friday, and cleanly handled the balls hit to him. He made the Cubs' Opening Day roster last year as a backup catcher.
"I'll put Clevenger at third again [Sunday] and see what happens," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "He can swing the bat. He gives you that left-handed bat that changes the way a pitcher pitches, and gets pitch counts up."
Clevenger was a middle infielder before he was converted to catcher in the Cubs' Minor League system.
• Giants manager Bruce Bochy presented Nate Schierholtz with his 2012 World Series ring while San Francisco was taking batting practice on Saturday. Schierholtz came up in the Giants organization, winning a ring in 2010. He was with the Giants until July 31, when he was dealt to the Phillies for Hunter Pence.
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.