The Kyle Schwarber Roller Coaster ride has been unexpectedly exciting over the past few weeks.
First, Schwarber gave us a splinter of hope with his “most-likely-probably-not” comments in regards to surprise return this October. But then, Epstein quickly squashed those rumors by declaring decisively that no such return is in the cards.
And that’s where we were sat as of this weekend. The end of the line, so to speak. But that’s not quite the final word (alright, my metaphors are getting sloppy). While Kyle Schwarber will definitely not be playing before the end of the 2016 MLB season, he might play before the end of the year.
Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein joined Waddle and Silvy on ESPN1000, and had some comments about his young catcher/outfielder’s immediate future. You can listen to the full interview here, but in short, Epstein
- Reiterated that Schwarber will not play during the 2016 regular (or post) season,
- Explained that the torque on his knee (from playing) would be too risky at this time, and
- Indicated that he might get some at bats “later in the winter.”
By allowing Schwarber to rest now (even if he could theoretically, maybe find a way to play before the season is up) and instead get his at bats in the winter, the Cubs are putting him in the best possible position to succeed in 2017. Given the crowded composition of the roster, the conclusion of the Minor League seasons, his absence from baseball over the past 4.5 months, and the almost certainly misleading desire to thrust him immediately into action come October, this is the most appropriate course of action.
And hey, it’s a pretty promising one, if you ask me.
Kyle Schwarber will be an integral part of the 2017 team and, although it’s difficult to keep anything beyond October in mind right now, that does mean something. With all of the positive news lately, you may have forgotten that Spring 2017 was just the target date of return, not a guarantee. If Schwarber is up and baseball-ready before then, he’ll arguably be well ahead of schedule (in terms of health). If he’s actually able to get some baseball in, perhaps in a winter league, he’ll be even more ahead of schedule, in terms of baseball-ability.
Because remember, he’ll have missed almost an entire year of baseball VERY early on in his career/development, before making his return next season. And despite a hot start and an impressive showing in the playoffs, he did hit a bit of skid near the end of the year. Getting him back into action as soon and as often as possible might go a long way towards realizing success again next season.
So, it’s good news all around.
Kyle Schwarber is nearing a full recovery, and even a possible return to baseball, before the calendar year is up.