Cubs catcher Miguel Montero will hit the DL with a thumb injury that he suffered on Saturday, MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo reports. Highly-regarded youngster Kyle Schwarber will return to the big leagues to take his place.
The injury could keep Montero out for up to six weeks, according to the report. Presumably, more will be known after a visit to a hand specialist tomorrow, as Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald notes on Twitter.
It is not expected that Schwarber will see regular duty behind the dish, according to MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat (via Twitter). Muskat adds that David Ross and Taylor Teagarden will also remain on the active roster (at least once Ross returns from injury).
Presumably, though, Schwarber will have plenty of opportunity to find at bats, especially after slashing .364/.391/.591 in a brief-but-exciting 23-plate appearance debut earlier in the year. He might conceivably see time in the outfield and as a bench bat in addition to spending some innings behind the dish. All said, it is somewhat difficult to imagine that Schwarber will only function as one of the team’s last bench pieces, as it’s widely believed that he needs significant seasoning defensively.
As Mayo explains, the length of Montero’s potential absence could mean that the much-hyped young slugger ends up staying with the big league club for the rest of the season, given that rosters will expand in September. Remaining on the roster the rest of the way would allow Schwarber to rack up as much as 86 days of service on the year (including the six days he’s already been in the big leagues). That could well complicate any effort to hold him back at the start of next year (or otherwise play with his service accumulation) to stave off Super Two status or extend team control.