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Cubs roster move: Anthony Rizzo to DL, Efren Navarro recalled from Iowa

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The first baseman will miss the next two series against the Pirates and Braves.

MLB: Chicago Cubs at Miami Marlins Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

With the move of All-Star first baseman Anthony Rizzo to the 10-day disabled list late Monday evening, the Cubs have found themselves in need of a replacement who can fill the void during his absence.

Rizzo’s back injury — a not infrequent issue for him — is not so much a concern that the Cubs believe it will cost Rizzo any major time this season, the DL stint is more of a calculated move by the team. By moving Rizzo to the disabled list ahead of the new series and backdating his timeline to Friday, they will effectively have him on long rest for the upcoming series against the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Atlanta Braves. If all goes according to plan, he will return to active duty in time for next week’s series against the St. Louis Cardinals.

While fans who have been eagerly awaiting the Cubs’ first home series will be disappointed by Rizzo’s absence, the team is making a wise move to keep from continuing to play shorthanded. Placing Rizzo on the disabled list allows the opportunity to call up a minor league player, easing the load on their existing utility crew.

Efren Navarro, who most recently played for the Detroit Tigers and was picked up by the Cubs over the offseason after electing free agency, will get the call-up from the Cubs to replace Rizzo. Navarro has most recently played first base for the Cubs Triple-A affiliate Iowa Cubs, and in the very, very short minor league season has a .250/.250/.250 with three RBIs in only 12 plate appearances.

Navarro has both first base and outfield experience, giving the Cubs a little wiggle room with utility roles, but as he is primarily a first baseman by trade he will most likely just act as a direct stand-in for Rizzo.

Expect to see Navarro take the field with the Cubs during their series with the Pirates, possibly starting Wednesday’s game.