Having made Double-A look all too easy, the Cubs gave Kyle Schwarber a five-game trial as the team's designated hitter during a brief road trip to American League parks in June. The plan was for Schwarber to go to Triple-A to further refine his game, but an injury to catcher Miguel Montero along with his initial success in the majors (8 for 22) meant that the 22-year-old was back with the Cubs less than a month later. Over the course of 69 games, Schwarber had little problem hitting for power with 16 home runs, though strikeouts and flyouts limited his batting average to .246. Even with the potential for a subpar batting average, Schwarber deserves consideration as the second catcher to be drafted after Buster Posey with a pick somewhere within the first four or five rounds.
Cubs rookie Kyle Schwarber is not in the lineup for Saturday's game, the Daily Herald's Bruce Miles reports. The Cubs are going with a righty-heavy lineup with St. Louis sending lefty Jaime Garcia to the mound for Game 2 of the NLDS. Schwarber will almost certainly be used at some point as a pinch-hitter off the bench. Jorge Soler and Austin Jackson will start in the outfield corners.
Schwarber went 2-for-3 with a two-run homer and three RBI in the Cubs' win over the Pirates on Wednesday. He drove in Dexter Fowler in the top of the first inning for the run that stood as the game winner, but also provide insurance with a long ball that left the yard off Gerrit Cole in the third. The Cubs used Schwarber in right field for Wednesday's game, eventually removing him for a defensive replacement (Chris Denorfia) late in the game.
Cubs catcher Miguel Montero is set to sit Thursday against Cincinnati. Montero will sit out for the second straight day, giving way to Kyle Schwarber behind the plate. The 32 year old is 20 for 65 at the dish in September, so his absence is not performance-related. Rather, Joe Maddon is likely trying to get his primary backstop some extra rest before the postseason.
Cubs center fielder Dexter Fowler is out of the lineup Wednesday in Cincinnati. It appears to be just a typical day off for Fowler as his team gears up for the playoffs. Austin Jackson will take over in the outfield and hit second in the lineup with Kyle Schwarber getting the chance to lead off for only the second time in his short career.
Kyle Schwarber isn't in the Cubs' lineup Monday against the Royals. Schwarber will receive a day of Monday after a 0 for 2 effort at the dish in Sunday's game. It marks the second time in three games he will skip, but it's likely just to rest the youngster as the Cubs prepare for a postseason run.