Cubs-Indians 2016 World Series: Kyle Schwarber not cleared to play outfield
Schwarber's surgically repaired knee isn't ready for outfield duty in Game 3
Young Cubs slugger Kyle Schwarber, despite logging just five plate appearances during the regular season thanks to a serious knee injury, has already made an impact at the plate in the World Series. Schwarber served as the Cubs' DH in Games 1 and 2 in Cleveland, in those two games he batted .429/.556/.571. Schwarber has looked so good at the plate that the Cubs have given serious thought to letting him man left field while the series is in Chicago. Such a plan, however, was always contingent upon doctors saying Schwarber's surgically repaired knee was up to the task. Indeed, on Thursday the Cubs' announcement came down ...
Kyle Schwarber has not been medically cleared to play the field, according to Theo Epstein. pic.twitter.com/GCS1CQuU3V— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) October 27, 2016
Schwarber of course remains on the roster, which means he's very likely Joe Maddon's pinch-hitter of first resort, at least if a right-hander is on the mound for Cleveland. In other words, it's still quite possible that Schwarber makes an impact under National League rules.
As for left field, the Cubs have six other outfielders on the World Series roster -- Dexter Fowler, Ben Zobrist, Jason Heyward, Albert Almora Jr., Jorge Soler and Chris Coghlan (in addition to Kris Bryant, who saw significant time in left and right during the regular season) -- so they're hardly desperate. Given the defensive shortcomings of Schwarber and the still uncertain status of his knee, it may in fact be a good thing that this temptation was taken out of the Cubs' hands.
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