As you know, after Kyle Schwarber's terrific hitting performance in Games 1 and 2 of the World Series in Cleveland (3-for-7, a double, two RBI, two walks), much discussion ensued on the TV broadcast of whether he should play the outfield when the Series comes to Wrigley Field for Games 3, 4 and 5 beginning Friday.
This list of pros and cons for Schwarber going to the outfield is really pretty short, although I'd say the list of "cons" is somewhat longer.
- The Cubs can really use that bat in the middle of the lineup
- That's it. Really. Not having Schwarber's bat means having Chris Coghlan or Jason Heyward in the lineup instead, a significant downgrade.
- Schwarber hasn't yet been medically cleared to play the field.
- Schwarber wasn't really a good outfielder last year, as seen in the 2015 NLCS. Given that, and a surgically-repaired knee, he's not going to be any better this year.
- There's a brick outfield wall at Wrigley Field. If Schwarber's knee had a meeting with that wall, it could set his recovery from surgery back.
My inclination would be not to do it. Most likely, if the Cubs did get Schwarber cleared to play the field, he's only going to get a couple of at-bats per game before being removed for defense. Why risk injury for possibly one more at-bat per game, two at most? He'll be a pinch-hitter in any critical situation, and I think one at-bat per game, to protect his health, would be the best scenario not only for now, but for his future.
What say you?