3:06pm: Schwarber is headed to the DL, per MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat (via Twitter). It appears that Munenori Kawasaki could be the roster replacement. He is not on the 40-man, so space would need to be cleared.
APRIL 8, 11:33am: There is “a lot of concern” in the Cubs organization about Schwarber’s injury, tweets ESPN’s Buster Olney. According to Olney, the team is more concerned about Schwarber’s knee than his ankle. ESPN Chicago’s Jesse Rogers tweets that an update from the Cubs won’t come until “very late in the day.”
APRIL 7: Cubs catcher/outfielder Kyle Schwarber left today’s game after a scary collision with Dexter Fowler. Preliminary x-rays were negative, with the initial diagnosis suggesting that he has escaped with only a left ankle sprain, MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat was among those to report on Twitter. He’ll have an MRI tomorrow for a closer look.
While any loss would be unfortunate, it’s certainly promising to hear that the results don’t appear as serious as they looked on the field. Medical personnel checked out both Schwarber’s knee and lower leg after the impact. He was able to get to his feet, but couldn’t put enough weight on the leg to walk all the way from the warning track to the dugout, so he ultimately departed via cart.
It’s important to note, too, that the Cubs are as well-equipped as any team to absorb the loss of a regular position player. Chicago did deal away Chris Coghlan, but signed two everyday options in Jason Heyward and Dexter Fowler to go with Schwarber and Jorge Soler in the outfield. Kris Bryant and Javier Baez could also factor into the outfield mix, and Matt Szczur also remains on hand.
The 23-year-old rose quickly to the majors and made a huge impact last year. A catcher by trade, Schwarber’s bat has been good enough that he’s expected to spend regular time in the outfield while he hones his craft behind the plate. He ended the 2015 season — his age-22 campaign — with a robust .246/.355/.487 batting line and 16 home runs over 273 plate appearances. Of course, there’s room for growth. In particular, Schwarber saw most of his action against right-handed pitching, which he demolished, but struggled to a .481 OPS in 61 trips to the plate against southpaws.
Schwarber’s real upside, perhaps, is down the line, as he could be an immensely valuable player if he’s even a passable option in a catching role. Big-time prospect Willson Contreras will factor into the future at the position as well. Even if he sticks in the outfield, though, there’s reason to think Schwarber can provide sufficiently useful glovework to be a significant asset. Some notable gaffes aside, he rated somewhat below average by measure of Defensive Runs Saved last year but was an approximately average performer in the eyes of UZR — which is no mean feat given his limited experience on the grass.
no real surprise here. Schwarber is a defensive liability in left, cubs should trade him to an al team as a dh for some prospects.
Seriously? A guy hurts his ankle on an outfield collision and your take is that we need to trade him?
He’s not wrong about the defensive liability part.
Yes, he is.
I agree. Nobody denies that he has room to improve but considering he isn’t an OF by trade, he’s done ok and should be expected to improve.
Yes he is wrong Scwaber can play good defense and very good behind the plate but Wilson Contrares will own that.Its good to have depth but don’t think that mean trade for pitching H
LOL at the people disagreeing. The book on Scwarber on draft day was that he’d never be an effective fielder at any position. Nothing he has done since has altered that. No need to attack the original poster, he’s making a statement of fact.
Here’s where you’re really going to be fed up: This makes the Cubs better. Scwarber, Soler, Baez – they’re all players with huge holes in their swings. None of them will stick in the majors. The sooner the three of them are out, the sooner the Cubs can look to acquire legitimate answers in the outfield.
That is not a statement of fact. A scouting report, no matter how talented the scout is, is still just an opinion. I happen to agree with the op about Schwarber, but I still don’t treat any draft scouting report as dogma because it just isn’t so.
He’s saying that Schwarber should be traded eventually. He’s a classic DH, not an everyday position player. The Cubs pitching rotation is crap after Arietta and Lester. They should try to move Schwarber and some prospects to an AL team for a Sonny Gray or Carlos Carrasco type starter.
@ChiSox They definitely could use more upside after Lester, but to say that it’s ‘trash’ afterwards and to suggest that they should trade Schwarber to rectify that either shows your bias or your lack of knowledge.
Folks, he had an ankle injury, these things happen. Let’s hope for the best but keep in mind that it’s an inherent risk part ofevery players’ game.
The Cubs staff is not “crap” after Lester. Do you even watch baseball?
Awww, how cute, a bitter sox fan.
@kayrall Naw, the Cubs rotation is one of the worst in baseball. Lester’s been regressing heavily for three years in terms of command, Lackey is a fly ball pitcher moving to a fly ball park, and Hendricks/Hammel are both swing guys stuff wise. The Cubs hit a ton which will probably save their season, but there probably should be three other guys between Arrieta and Lester if the Cubs want to win a World Series.
Not sure if sarcasm…
Last time I checked we got the ring
The Cubs had the 3rd best rotation ERA in the MLB last year. I don’t know how you suggest that replacing Dan Haren with John Lackey suddenly makes them “one of the worst rotations in baseball”.
Yeah, you had the 3rd best ERA during the REGULAR season because Arietta had a Cy Young year with ridiculous stats down the stretch. The Cubs’ ERA during the playoffs is a better reflection of how bad your rotation really is. Arietta looked wore out after the wild card game, and your ERA balloned. Take Arietta’s insane video game stats and the Cubs’ pitching rotation becomes decidely below average. This is why they got swept by the Mets in the NLCS. Again, look at the individual playoff stats, it’s horrible. And for the record, I’m advocating for the Cubs to get to the WS. They need another stud pitcher to get there, not Schwarber.
Yeah what he said. 3rd best, so what. It was pretty much all Arrieta weighing it down, coupled with guys at the back end pitching more than a run higher than their peripherals. Lester is the 2 and he’s regressing physically. I’d have a problem with him in the middle of my rotation, let alone near the top.
Sorry, we’re just going to disagree with this. I don’t have the Cubs in my top half rotations, and without Arrieta they’d probably be worst in baseball.
Except for the fact that it was Fowler’s fault. Watch the replay, he never called Schwarber off. As a CF, that’s his responsibility
You only call off if you know You can make catch. Neither player was going to catch that ball. It was no ones fault.
Trade because he is ‘below avg’ left fielder? Two things. (1) do not judge Schwarber’s defensive skills based on what you may have seen last October. Kyle had only played ~50 ‘innings’ worth of fly balls in the previous 4 years. Yes he looked bad, but think bigger than a 4 game series, (2) I am sure that Schwarber is close to ‘untouchable’. If you look at his minor league hitting stats, his numbers are almost identical to Kris Bryant… Then he came up and in 280 at bats he hit 16 homers. Then in the fall went long 5 times (gerrit Cole and Jacob degrom included).
No chance of his being traded unless someone is willing to pay a Shelby miller price … Even that may not work (as a rookie, he had a top 20 exit velocity in all of baseball).
Trade Schwarber because he’s a DH trying to play OF on a team loaded with talented OFs. Trading depth away to become a better balanced playoff team is common sense. You guys need 1b pitcher to get to the next level, not a DH converted to LF who hits righties well but has limited baseball skills. Lester is a solid #3 pitcher making Ace type money at this point. That doesn’t cut it when you’re trying to win a WS.
Methinks Victorino will be in AZ for Friday’s night game.
Me thinks you are wrong because the Cubs would need to make a corresponding 40 man move and this is early to be shuffling the deck. Probably will bring up a pitcher doe short term help and have a short handed bench.
Possibly. I feel like it’s going to be somebody very short term. Baez isn’t quite ready with the thumb as he was hit in the helmet and been out since Monday. If they bring up a guy like Kawasaki and send him down he’d have to clear waivers. Look for somebody that has options the be brought up if a DL stint is necessary. It could be Alcantara.
They already have 13 pitchers. Easiest move is putting Villanueva on the 60 day DL:(broken fibula) which doesn’t count toward the 40 man. It could be Alcantara, but Victorino may have an early opt-out. He’s in Mesa rehabbing right now and if healthy enough, he may be first man up.
Valid points, just think it is too early for Victorino since he is rehabbing and perhaps they work this weekend with more pitchers, then make the corresponding moves later (such as when Baez is ready to be activated or Victorino is ready).
I like the screen name too, can tell you are a true Chicagoan!
Good discussion guys… I suspect the Villanueva move will be a key to whatever moves take place.
– Victorino hasn’t showed anything (yet) to deserve to ‘learn on the 25 man roster.’
– alcantara might make sense of they think they would be delaying Villanueva’s development (I believe Villanueva will be rule 5 eligible this year, so the Cubs either have to be prepared to bring him up outbuildings up his trade value (which was high before the injury)
– I am betting that Kawasaki will be he guy. He is also already on the 40 man
Actually, like Szczur and Ramirez, Villanueva is out of options (without ever being called up) and would have to go thru waivers before he is sent down. Rule 5 is to force teams to place minor leaguers on the 40 man where the options are used.. Don’t think Victorino has anything to “learn” other than being healthy. Though, I can see Kawasaki being called up here, too, as he would just replace Schwarbs straight up and Villanueva would stay on the 15 day DL.
Alomora up in CF and Fowler to LF. Bryant isn’t going to LF.
Temporarily? Sure. Don’t forget Joe even put him in Center last year.
Almora won’t be replacing Schwarber for a number of reasons including service time, inexperience at higher minor league levels, lack of consistency on offense, etc.
They could just play Soler…
Well yeah, Soler’s going to start. Cubs are versatile because Zobrist or Bryant can play LF in a pinch, too. with LaStella subbing for them. at 2B or 3B. If not Victorino or Alcantara, Kawasaki could be a backup as he has been optioned already this year..
I don’t think Kawasaki was optioned. He was invited to Spring Training and released and resigned to a minor league contract. I may be wrong but if they bring him up and then send him down he would have to clear waivers and I don’t think that would happen.
And then he was put on the 40 man and optioned as he was eligible for a 4th time. But not sure if there is something special in his contract that would give Kawasaki the right to become a free agent if he is sent.down after he has been called up.
Easiest move!!! Makes too much sense
Muni heading to the desert.
I have a true question for Cub fans. Why is Schwarber not used more as a full time catcher? Can he? It appears he is not looked at in the Cubs organization as the future C, but wonder if he could for another team. If he is a possible full time or 4 out of 5 days, I wonder if he could be a fit for the Braves. We surely could use a future catcher and at 22, 23 years old, could be great.
So was curious.
1) Defensive liability behind the plate. He isn’t a plus defender while Montero is.
2) $$. Montero is making money and they need to use him.
3) Montero can’t play outfield while Schwarber can make due. Actually he has been getting a lot better and last night played a ball pretty perfectly off the wall.
4) He may turn into an average defender at the catcher position but it’s going to take some time. In the mean time his bat is really, really useful.
Thank you sir for the info.
They also have David Ross on their roster, who has to at least catch for Lester. Carrying 3 catchers makes it tougher to give pt to Schwarber behind the plate
Think we need the Schwarber rule put into place. If a ball is hit to the outfield and the possibility of outfielders could crash into one another the batter is automatically ruled out.
Why? Any ball hit into the gap could lead to the fielders crashing into each other. You would basically be eliminating most doubles or triples. One of the first things you’re taught in little league is to call the other guy off
I am sure this was sarcasm. He is saying this cause they make a new rule after players get hurt. His post was nothing that could or would happen but just making light of the situation. At least I hope that is the case LOL
I wish I could upvote this comment.
Not sure why it took until today for people to think it might be his knee… looked kind of obvious from the replays I saw last night. My first reaction was he may have blew his knee out.
My friend posted a still-shot to my FB Timeline, and it shows Schwarber’s foot bent in a completely unnatural position underneath Fowler. Based on the image, it’s amazing to me that he didn’t fracture his ankle, but his ankle is definitely injured (his knee may be also)
I saw that and thought his knee was blown up. He’s very lucky.
The Cubs 130 win season could be in jeopardy now.
If Maddon has the courage (we know he has the brains) to bat the pitcher 7th they can still win 116.
Thats a blow for the Cubs, he’s such a good hitter for them. Well, they still got Bryant, Rizzo, etc. They’ll be ok
I am pretty sure the Cubs added Kawasaki to the 40-man a few days ago so I think he actually is on the 40-man already and seems like a likely candidate to be brought up.
Doubt its a pitcher because they already have 13 and still haven’t used two of them. Doubt its Contreras because he probably isn’t ready and they don’t need 3 catchers. That leaves Vogelbach, Alcantara, Candalario and Kawasaki or adding someone else to the 40-man. Does Alcantara still have options? If so, it could be him since it will likely just be a short term fix since Baez is due back in a week or so.
Also a couple statements in this thread caused me pause. Baez, Soler and Schwarber all wont stick in the big leagues because they have holes in their swing? That is a pretty big statement. Seems doubtful that you know more about the situation of all three players than the Cubs’ coaches and staff. But maybe you’re right. We’ll see.
Also, the Cubs need 3 more pitchers between Arrieta and Lester to win the WS? Are you implying Lester has regressed to a 5th starter caliber pitcher? That also seems like a stretch. If Lester is your 5th starter, you’re looking at one of the best starting rotations of all time. Lester had over a K an inning last year, an FIP below 3, a whip in the 1.1’s, and had the fewest walks of his career as a full-time starter. If that is what it takes to be just barely clip the rotation, you have an historically good rotation.
Hammel and Hendricks aren’t All-Stars, but they would be in most rotations in baseball. They can’t all be Arriettas.
This is exactly the reason why people shouldn’t be anointing the Cubs champions before the season starts. Injuries of course will happen, but the Cubs have other potential reasons for a down season as well. They had several top rookies last year and history says that at least one or two of them will go into the tank as a sophomore. Secondly, Arrieta pitched so much better than he ever had in his career in 2015. Was it the beginning of an upswing or just a career year which he will never be able to match again? I’d say it is about a 50-50 shot based on similar pitchers in history. Next, the bullpen was such a strength last year but there is no greater fluctuation in the modern game than the reliability of bullpens from year to year due to the small sample size. Could the bullpen repeat its success from last year or is it going to inevitably regress?
Could they beat the odds and overcome all of that? Of course they could because they are very talented if everyone performs up to par. But this is the Cubs and if there is such a thing as a “cursed” franchise in sports, it is them.
Why shouldn’t they? Of course there’s no way of knowing based on so many factors, but of course people are going to make predictions about who they think will be the best team this year. It’s human nature.
Rockies fan. That should say it all.
Really? That’s the best you got? Of course it is because you can’t really attack my argument so you attack my avatar. Oh well, whatever gets you through the day. Have a good one.
I agree that no team should be anointed champion because baseball is baseball, but you can also just say the worst case scenario can happen for every team.
I think many places have predicted the cubs to win, which makes sense based on the amount of talent relative to the rest of the league. I don’t recall many places anointing them ws champions though.
Also Arrieta was a 5.0 fwar pitcher in 2014, so while it wasn’t as good as 2015, it’s not like last year was the first time he’s been good.
Torn acl and lcl. Tough break
Nah, probably just plantar fasciitis.