Rizzo: Much love for skip­per

Chicago Sun-Times - - SPORTS - BY BRIAN SANDALOW

An­thony Rizzo said David Ross has been “un­be­liev­able” in his first sea­son manag­ing the Cubs.

“The way he com­mu­ni­cates, and the way when he does get an­i­mated or fired up, it’s all in the right way,” Rizzo said be­fore the Cubs’ 7-3 loss to the Car­di­nals on Sun­day night. “Con­tin­u­ing to just watch him from afar even in the dugout or on the bench, how he han­dles things, and all new sit­u­a­tions won­der­ing how he’s go­ing to han­dle this . . . like any new man­ager, but ob­vi­ously I pay a lot more at­ten­tion be­cause of our his­tory.”

Ross was hired to pro­vide a dif­fer­ent kind of voice and vibe af­ter Joe Mad­don was let go fol­low­ing the dis­ap­point­ing 2019 sea­son. Rizzo said Ross has stayed very “even keel” dur­ing the ups and downs of the sea­son, which he val­ues.

“That’s, as a player, some­thing that I know I per­son­ally ap­pre­ci­ate,” Rizzo said.

Bryant the DH

Kris Bryant was the Cubs’ des­ig­nated hit­ter for the sev­enth time in his ca­reer and the sec­ond this year. Ross said David Bote has been play­ing a “re­ally good” third base and liked the matchup for him Sun­day.

Bryant went 2-for-4 (dou­ble, two strike­outs) from the two-hole. Ross said he likes Bryant’s ap­proach since re­turn­ing to the lineup Sept. 1.

“I like that you’re start­ing to see the ball fly to the mid­dle of the field a lit­tle more, which is al­ways a pos­i­tive I think with him,” Ross said. “He can hit the ball out of any part of a ball­park, so when you start to see flashes of deep fly balls to cen­ter, it re­minds me a lot of when I first saw him come up.”

Farewell to Souza

Steven Souza Jr. was des­ig­nated for as­sign­ment Satur­day. Brought in to pro­vide out­field depth and to hit left-handed pitch­ing, the vet­eran Souza was 4-for-27 with one homer and five RBI. The re­cent ad­di­tions of right-handed hit­ters Cameron May­bin and Jose Martinez might have fore­shad­owed the de­ci­sion on Souza.

How­ever, it sounds like it was tough for Ross to have the con­ver­sa­tion with Souza when the Cubs made the move.

“It’s such a short sea­son. It doesn’t even de­fine who he is, to be hon­est,” Ross said. “You can’t de­fine some­body on 30 at-bats with an in­jury in be­tween. It’s ter­ri­ble. It’s not fun at all. You don’t know when the last time some­thing like that . . . ends some­body’s ca­reer. It’s some­body’s liveli­hood. It’s real stuff. Has a fam­ily. It freak­ing sucks.”

Pitch­ing ma­neu­vers

The Cubs se­lected the con­tract of left­handed pitcher Matt Der­mody from South Bend. He pitched a 1-2-3 ninth Sun­day. Der­mody, who spent time this year with the independen­t Sugar Land Skeeters, signed a mi­nor-league deal with the Cubs on Aug. 6. In 28 ca­reer re­lief ap­pear­ances en­ter­ing Sun­day, all with the Blue Jays, the 30-year-old Der­mody was 2-0 with a 5.33 ERA.

■ Ad­bert Al­zo­lay will start Thurs­day against the Reds. He was op­tioned to South Bend af­ter the dou­ble­header Satur­day and is not sub­ject to a 10-day wait­ing pe­riod to re­turn be­cause he served as the Cubs’ 29th man.

■ Righty Tyson Miller also was op­tioned to South Bend af­ter the dou­ble­header.

■ Jose Quin­tana (left lat in­flam­ma­tion) is near­ing the start of a throw­ing pro­gram.

NAM Y. HUH/AP

An­thony Rizzo cel­e­brates with Kyle Sch­war­ber af­ter hit­ting a solo home run in the first in­ning.

David Ross

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