This is huge and fantastic news. It is also potentially jaw-dropping.
I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me explain.
Today, the Mesa Solar Sox added Kyle Schwarber to their roster (as a “taxi squad”, he’s eligible to play a couple days per week – Saturday and Wednesday). They would do that today only if he was actually going to play today. [UPDATE just to confirm: Mark Gonzales reports Schwarber is indeed expected to start tonight.]
So, six months after suffering a massive knee injury during the third game of the season, Chicago Cubs slugger Kyle Schwarber is going to be playing in an Arizona Fall League game today.
His recovery after surgery has been steady and solid, and there’d been hope for a while now that he would be able to play in a winter league. Seeing time in the AFL, then, is probably a touch ahead of schedule – which is great news – and is a great way for him to start gearing up for next year, when he’ll hopefully be full go for Spring Training, and also ready to build on his rookie campaign in 2015.
Given the timing, of course, folks are going to speculate about a Kirk Gibson-esque moment with the big league team, but there is at least one huge horse to hold before we can go too far on anything like that – the Cubs have to, you know, win the NLCS before they could re-set their roster in the next round anyway.
If that happens, though, and with the DH available in some of the games in the World Series … I know it’s the joking conspiracy theory thing that people loved to say for fun, but that we all knew was “not actually possible.”
But now, well, maybe it’s minimally possible. If Schwarber looks fine and good to go in the AFL today? Maybe he really could join the Cubs for the World Series. After all, would he really be pulled from the team on the day they could clinch the NLCS if it wasn’t in service of something really big? [UPDATE: Sahadev Sharma confirms that it is *possible* Schwarber could return to the Cubs and DH in the World Series. Obviously this all depends on how he looks tonight, how he feels physically swinging the bat in an actual game, and how the Cubs think he might be able to help. But. My. Lord. Yes.]
I can’t believe I’m typing those words. And then I think about this season, and about how crushing it was that he was injured at the start … and about he could return at the end for the most important series in the franchise’s history … bookending this season … about what could happen in that series … get control, Brett.
Instead, for today, we know only that Schwarber’s recovery has been such that he’s able to swing a bat competitively and run the bases in the AFL. That’s incredible and fantastic news on its own merits.