As if the 2016 World Series couldn’t get any more dramatic, the MLB Network’s Jon Paul Morosi is reporting that the Cubs plan to add Kyle Schwarber to the World Series roster and he will be the Cubs DH in game one.
The Cubs activated Schwarber off the 60-day disabled list on Saturday and sent him to the Arizona Fall League, where he got in a game on Saturday and a game Monday morning. The Cubs also had him participate in a simulated game on Sunday. Schwarber was 0 for 3 with a walk on Saturday and 1 for 3 with a walk and a double this morning.
Here’s some video of that double.
As you can see, Schwarber is still not running all that well, but he’s showing no problems swinging the bat and hitting it hard.
There’s a big difference between hitting pitching in the Arizona Fall League and the World Series. We don’t know if Schwarber has his timing and pitch recognition skills back, but I assume the Cubs have had him facing live pitching for weeks now. Despite the stage, this really isn’t much different than a guy coming off an injury rehab assignment in the minor leagues and going right back into the starting lineup. In a perfect world you’d want a guy who missed as much time as Schwarber to get a few more games in the minors, but the Cubs will take what they can get. If Schwarber is even 90% what he was in last year’s playoffs, the Cubs lineup just got a lot scarier.
It’s unclear who will be taken off the roster to make room for Schwarber, but it does seem likely that a pitcher will go, and Rob Zastryzny is the name most often mentioned. The Cubs don’t have a need for as many left-handers in the bullpen against Cleveland as they did against the Dodgers.
Both teams are getting an injured player back for the Series, as the Indians are expected to activate pitcher Danny Salazar.
You didn’t need another reason to watch, but now you have one.