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

The Cubs have missed their first baseman and leader.

Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

Anthony Rizzo’s back started acting up in Cincinnati. He tried to play through it in the first game of the Brewers series, but then had to be placed on the 10-day disabled list.

This hasn’t been announced officially:

... but we already know it’s happening exactly the way the headline states, because the Iowa Cubs transaction page says Efren Navarro was added to the Iowa roster Monday. And, in fact, Navarro played in Iowa’s 7-4 loss to Memphis Monday and went 0-for-5.

Rizzo was off to a slow start, hitting just .107/.219/.214 (3-for-28) in six games, with one home run. He’s had runs like this before, and then gone on hot streaks, so I am not worried about him. The Cubs and manager Joe Maddon say they’ll be careful with him, though:

“If (Rizzo is) ready to roll, we’ll probably play him, I would imagine, but keep an eye on him,” Maddon said Sunday. ”He’s been off for a little bit. Like yesterday, taking Albert out of that game was based purely on him being ill and the score being so lopsided. I would’ve left him out there, of course I would have.

”Anthony coming back, about the fifth inning, ‘Anthony, how you doing?’ Does he need to be brought back into it slowly? I’m not sure. So we’ll play that one by ear.”

Navarro, who turns 32 next month, was brought into spring training for exactly the purpose he was on the Cubs roster the last few days — to be here in case Rizzo went on the DL. Navarro, who has previously played for the Angels and Tigers, went 1-for-6 in his brief callup and now returns to Iowa to remain as a backup to Rizzo.