On anniversary, Rosario looks back at debut

June 2nd, 2018

NEW YORK -- Saturday marked the one-year anniversary of 's Major League debut.

"We had just finished batting practice, and we were doing really good -- we'd won, like, 20 out of 26 games," Rosario said on Saturday, relaying the story about his callup to the Twins from Double-A Chattanooga. "The manager says, 'We have a meeting in five minutes.' Everybody was like, 'Why? We're doing good.' He said, 'I just want to say, Randy, you're going to the big leagues,' and everybody started hugging me and talking to me."

Rosario entered in the eighth inning against the Angels on June 2, 2017, and retired the side, including , who grounded out to end the inning.

Rosario appeared in just one more game that season for the Twins and was claimed off waivers by the Cubs in November. That was another surprise, he said, but it's worked out well.

"I played for Gigantes [in the Dominican Republic], and as soon as [a friend] knew the Cubs picked me up, they called [Pedro] Strop," Rosario said. "They said, 'Hey, take care of this guy.'

"He's teaching me about everything here," Rosario said of the veteran reliever. "I've been asking him all day in the bullpen, all day here."

When Strop talks, Rosario listens, and it's paid off. Entering Saturday's game against the Mets, Rosario has given up two hits and walked three over seven innings in four games while striking out six.

The left-hander may find himself filling a bigger role in the bullpen. The Cubs need help after went on the disabled list on Wednesday because of inflammation in his right shoulder.

"[Rosario] gets out righties and lefties, and he's not afraid, and I love him for that," manager Joe Maddon said on Saturday. "He's got a big arm and good other stuff, his breaking pitches are really good. He's definitely not afraid. You look him in the eyeballs and he's ready to go. There's no telling what he can do. He's young with a great arm, and he has great energy for the game. I'm curious to find out how far we can take him, because he has great potential."

• Friday marked the 162nd game of 's Major League career. The outfielder ranks second among Cubs players for the most home runs in their first 162 games. hit 35 in his first 162, while Happ has hit 32. is next, with 28, and hit 26.

"What's more impressive is that the top four guys are on this team right now," Happ said on Saturday. "Cubs history is so storied, and the fact you have guys breaking records like that on the same team is cool."

Happ, who hit 24 homers in 115 games last season, knows nobody expected this many from him.

"Definitely not with my frame," he said. "That's part of it. I think some of those numbers, if you look at them, like ground-ball percentage, I think I have one of the lowest ground-ball percentages in the league. Over the course of time, if those numbers line up, you're going to have success that way. In this league, especially now, ground balls are outs. Infielders are too good, the shifts are too good."

• Right-hander , on the DL with inflammation in his right triceps, is continuing his rehab in Chicago; Maddon had no update on Saturday.

"I did not talk to anybody today about Yu," Maddon said.