As we discussed earlier, there was a slim chance that Kyle Schwarber could play in the outfield this weekend, and thus remain in the starting lineup for the Cubs as the World Series shifts to Chicago and the National League rules. Since Schwarber has already proved himself to be the king of excelling in the face of slim chances, you would have been foolish to say it was impossible until the Cubs or Schwarber himself said so.
Well, after today’s workout, it’s now official that he will not be starting in the outfield:
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
Epstein announces that Schwarber has NOT been cleared to play defense. Drs say there is too much risk w/ dynamic actions involved in defense
— Sahadev Sharma (@sahadevsharma) October 27, 2016
Theo: Kyle "pushed back" but understands Dr.'sdecision. "The story is it's absolutely remarkable what he did … I'm in awe of what he did."
— Mark Gonzales (@MDGonzales) October 27, 2016
— Gary Cohen (@GaryCohen10) October 27, 2016
Given the extent of his injury and rehab – it’s still crazy that he’s even hitting and running bases right now – this seems to be the much safer play. While there might be some disappointment among fans who just want to see him, it’s pretty hard to argue that this isn’t the right course.
Schwarber now becomes the Cubs’ top bat off the bench, which, while it will limit his appearances this weekend, does allow the Cubs to maximize the moments in which he does appear. I dig that. The dramatic Schwarber moments can still remain rather high.
If the series returns to Cleveland, Schwarber will resume designated hitter duties.