Since I know that you’re probably like me, and you enjoyed the win last night, but you’re also obsessively wondering where things stand with Kyle Schwarber after he was carted off the field, I want to provide a little update.
We know that Schwarber was initially diagnosed with a sprained ankle, which will be scanned today via MRI. After the game, Schwarber added that his knee was also “tight and sore” (ESPN, Cubs.com), and we now know that the knee will also be scanned.
As I said last night, even though the initial news – no immediately obvious broken bones on the X-ray, no immediately obvious catastrophic knee injury – was as good as you could hope for after a play like that, the overall news here remains less than great, especially with Schwarber noting the discomfort in his knee. Today’s MRI, the results of which might not be known to us for a while, will provide more detail about both the knee and the ankle, and you should still probably be preparing yourself to learn that Schwarber’s going to be out for a long time. If the expectation is that he’ll still be able to contribute for a good chunk of the Cubs’ season – even if it’s not for a couple months – I’m going to take that as good news, considering the worst-case scenario.
Once we get a rough idea of how long that will be, we can take a more considered look at the roster fallout, the playing time fallout, the lineup fallout, and the overall impact to the Cubs’ projected performance this year.
For now, the shorter-term question is whether Jorge Soler now becomes something of the regular left fielder for the Cubs, or if Tommy La Stella and Matt Szczur work their way in more (and Javy Baez, once he’s ready to return). Don’t get me wrong, I think La Stella and Szczur are fantastic bench pieces. But if Soler is viewed and able to perform like an almost-starter – which is where he should be, given the talent and upside – there should be no question here about who is starting every day. If it’s not Soler (as it was not last night), then it’s probably a bad signal about how Soler’s defense is viewed in left field.
Joe Maddon spoke about the Schwarber injury after the game as well, if you’d like to see his comments: