When Miguel Montero left a game back on July 11 with an apparent thumb issue, the early uncertainty surrounding his diagnosis gave you pause to wonder whether he’d be back by September or even at all this year. I’ll be candid: I was very nervous.
That remained the case even after the Cubs made the decision to promote top prospect Kyle Schwarber, whose bat made an immediate impact, but who is still a work in progress behind the plate.
Then, Montero basically said he was fine. He played in a handful of rehab games, and suddenly, on August 7th, he’s back with the big team. Matt Szczur gets back on the back-and-forth shuttle to Iowa. He could be back before September, but, if not, we’ll see him again then.
As for Montero, he’s not starting behind the plate today, what with Jon Lester on the mound. Interestingly, Kyle Schwarber moves to left field today (with David Ross behind the plate), and Chris Coghlan starts at second base, with Addison Russell at shortstop. A sign of things to come on days when Montero catches? I suspect yes, though Coghlan could also rotate to right field and third base.
I find it interesting that the Cubs elected to have Montero’s glove and bat on the bench for this one as opposed to Szczur’s glove and legs. They must be feeling good about where Montero is offensively (something I wrote about earlier at BP Wrigleyville), and it’s gotta be nice to have the opportunity to switch out a platoon catcher at some point late in the game while still having a third option (Schwarber) available if there’s an injury.