Jun 9, 2011, 7:11 PM EST
As expected, the Padres have promoted top prospect Anthony Rizzo from Triple-A Tucson and written his name into the starting lineup for Thursday night’s game against the Nationals.
Rizzo is batting seventh in his major league debut.
The 21-year-old first baseman forced his way to the majors at a far quicker pace than expected by batting .365/.444/.715 with 16 home runs and 63 RBI over 52 games this season at Triple-A.
Padres manager Bud Black confirmed to reporters Thursday that Rizzo will serve as the team’s primary first baseman going forward. Convinced that he has the goods offensively, they didn’t want to ease him in.
The Padres optioned outfielder Aaron Cunningham to Triple-A Tucson to clear a spot on the 25-man roster. Eric Patterson was also designated for assignment with Will Venable returning to the major leagues.
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