With interleague road games starting in a week, the Cubs have started to discuss roster considerations for how they’ll handle seven American League games in 13 days.
Manager Joe Maddon said the brass hasn’t settled on how the Cubs will fill the designated hitter slot, but top hitting prospect Kyle Schwarber and heating-up Javy Baez could be options from the system.
“All these guys are options, there’s no doubt,” Maddon said Monday before the Cubs opened a three-game series against the Marlins in Miami. “Javy’s doing better. I’ve heard a lot of good things about him.”
The right-handed-hitting Baez, the Cubs’ second baseman the last two months of last season, was hitting .306 with five homers and an .876 OPS in 30 games since joining AAA Iowa after an extended bereavement leave because of the death of his sister in April.
Lefty-hitting Schwarber, last year’s No. 4 overall draft pick, is hitting .327 with 12 homers and a 1.087 OPS in 45 games for AA Tennessee. Maddon said a little more than a week ago that Schwarber might be able to help the big-league club at some point this season – though team officials haven’t “yet” talked about Schwarber as a DH possibility.
“That’s the beauty of what we’ve got going on right now,” Maddon said of the young hitting options the club has put together. “It’s not just one shining light. We’ve got several.
“I don’t now who we’re facing yet pitching-wise. That would be part of the decision, also.”
The Cubs play a two-game series at Detroit next week at the end of their current road trip, then travel to Cleveland and Minnesota for five interleague games June 17-21.