Who’s got next? Maddon says Kyle Schwarber could help Cubs this season

SHARE Who’s got next? Maddon says Kyle Schwarber could help Cubs this season

PHOENIX – It took third baseman Kris Bryant just 22 months and 181 games to get to the big leagues after the Cubs drafted him No. 2 overall in 2013.

Could catcher Kyle Schwarber, last year’s No. 4 overall pick, get there even faster?

Asked if the left-handed slugger could help the Cubs this year, manager Joe Maddon didn’t hesitate, saying, “Yeah. Sure. He has a very, very mature at-bat. He’s doing better behind the plate, too, from what I understand.

“You ask him. He’ll tell you he can. And that’s a big part of it, too. He’s really confident.”

Maddon said he wasn’t anticipating a move involving Schwarber, who’s abusing Southern League pitching for Class AA Tennessee right now. Nothing’s planned, and there’s no place on the 25-man roster for him, anyway, unless he camps on the bench.

But a September debut when rosters expand is a reasonable thought, Maddon said.

“It’s possible. Anything’s possible,” he said.

Schwarber, 22, is hitting .296 at Tennessee and ranks second in the SL with a .430 on-base percentage, second with 10 homers, first with a .600 slugging percentage and first in OPS.

In 111 career games through Saturday, Schwarber was hitting .328 with 28 homers and a 1.051 OPS.

“Every time I look up on that scoreboard back home, it looks like Schwarber had a 3-for-5, home run, three RBIs,” Maddon said. “And even if it’s 1-for-5, it was like, `game-winning RBI’ or whatever.

“And I got to know him in camp. He’s definitely got the hitting chip. And he knows he can.”

Catching is the bigger work-in-progress with the Indiana University product, but team officials say they’re gaining confidence in his long-term projections at the position.

What can he do for the Cubs this year? Short-term injury fill-in? September callup?

Lefty bat off Maddon’s playoff bench?

“Sounds good to me,” the manager said. “I’ll take it.”

The Latest
Johnson who has missed the last two games with a quad injury, participated in practice but on a limited basis. Montgomery also was limited in practice.
The film by Chicago’s Steve James delves into the story of Ted Hall, who gave away trade secrets about U.S. atomic bomb construction.
The girl was walking home from school in the 6200 block of South Indiana Avenue when the man walked up, covered her mouth and pulled her into the alley, Chicago police said.
The annual salaries for the city clerk and city treasurer have been frozen at $133,545 since 2005. Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s proposed budget includes pay raises for both citywide elected officials while keeping the mayor’s salary at $216,210.
What we see at Chicago Shakespeare is a pre-Broadway production that is not just safe for the skeptical. It’s a significant leap in artistic quality over its sources, which it respects, while also providing a clear, resonant, and unique voice of its own.