According to multiple reports, Kyle Schwarber will be on the Cubs’ World Series roster when it is released Tuesday morning and in the starting lineup for Game 1.
Schwarber played in his second AFL game on Monday. Schwarber flew on a private jet, as planned, to Cleveland to meet up with the Cubs. Schwarber said Saturday that he would be with the team for the World Series regardless of his role. Multiple reports have Schwarber being in Joe Maddon’s starting lineup as the Cubs designated hitter for Game 1.
The Cubs called up Schwarber from the minors last season in June for a set of games in American League parks that he could be used as the team’s DH.
Schwarber made his big league debut against the Indians on June 16, 2015 at Wrigley Field. Schwarber went 0-for-1 as a late-game substitution for Miguel Montero. Schwarber was in the starting lineup the next night in Cleveland and he went off at the plate.
Schwarber was 4-for-5 with a triple in his first at bat. Schwarber scored three runs and had two RBI. The next night, Schwarber went 2-for-4 with a home run. Schwarber is 6-for-14 with a triple, a home run, five runs scored and four RBI in four career games against the Indians … 6-for-9 with a triple and a home run in two games at Progressive Field.
And in six games as the Cubs’ DH, Schwarber is 8-for-24 with a triple, a home run and two walks for a .912 OPS (.333/.370/.542).
Schwarber hit the ball hard three times Monday against what Ken Rosenthal reported as Double-A caliber pitching. Schwarber went 1-for-3 with a double, a walk and a run scored. Schwarber showed improvement with each plate appearance, the same as he did in his first Arizona Fall League game. Schwarber went 0-for-3 with a walk on Saturday.
Schwarber ran the bases Monday. On the double in his fourth plate appearance, he slid in safe at second base. Schwarber went from second to third on a bunt.
The Cubs were closely monitoring Schwarber during the team’s workout at Progressive Field.
Theo Epstein liked what he saw and pointed out that he hit a ball with a 110 mph exit velocity. Epstein told Carrie Muskat, “He ran the bases before the game really well, slid, dove back in, went first to third, second to home. He looked really good. He’s running pretty well. He’s saving his hits, apparently, because he keeps hitting the balls at guys.
The Cubs medical staff also monitored Schwarber closely. The Cubs have to be careful with the player and at the same time do what is best for the team. The Cubs will not place him on the roster if the front office does not feel he can help the team win games. Plus, the Cubs will not be able to replace Schwarber on the roster if he re-injures his left knee.
— William Boor (@wboor) October 24, 2016
Jon Heyman spoke with several of Schwarber’s teammates about his possible return and being in the lineup. According to Heyman the Cubs he spoke with were excited about Schwarber playing. And one Cubs source Heyman spoke with said Schwarber is “ready to go.”
The Cubs have not tipped their hand to whether there will be 11 or 12 pitchers on the World Series roster. It was believed Sunday that the Cubs were leaning toward 11 pitchers and 14 position players on the 25-man roster. With the limitations Schwarber has and as many as four of the seven games in an American League park, the Cubs are expected to have 14 position players on the roster.
- Report from Comcast SportsNet
- Report from Jon Heyman
- Report from The Tribune
- Report from The Sun-Times