If Twitter means anything, Cub fans are clamoring for the return of Kyle Schwarber to Chicago now that catcher Miguel Montero’s health is in question.
And Cubs manager Joe Maddon did not rule out the slugging prospect being in the discussion for a second big-league callup if Montero eventually needs to go on the disabled list because of his thumb injury.
“Of course it could be. But for right now we have not gotten to that point,” Maddon said. “Schwarber’s always in the consideration for what we’re doing in the future.”
For now, the Cubs have activated David Ross from the seven-day concussion DL to get through Sunday, with Taylor Teagarden starting against the White Sox in their final game before the All-Star break. Outfielder Mike Baxter was optioned to AAA Iowa to make room on the roster for Ross short term.
The Cubs plan to use much of the All-Star break to evaluate MRI results and Montero’s progress with the thumb he jammed during the first inning of Saturday’s game. If he can’t play by Friday he’ll likely go on the DL.
“I’m hearing the initial evaluation was that it could be not so bad, and then it could be bad,” Maddon said. “It’s totally like this mid-range thing. We’ll know more obviously over the next couple of days, and we’ll figure it out.”
The likeliest outcome if Montero goes on the DL is the Cubs stick with Ross and Teagarden, who has spent parts of the last seven seasons in the big-leagues.
The issue with Schwarber in this scenario is that he has not yet developed enough as a professional catcher to be considered viable for even platoon work behind the plate in the big leagues.
The other side of the argument is that his big left-handed bat can play now. Including an 8-for-22 (one-homer) weeklong run as the Cubs’ designated hitter last month, Schwarber’s 81-game combined totals from AA, AAA and the big-leagues this year are: .326 with 17 homers, 55 RBIs, a .428 on-base percentage and 1.019 OPS.
Maddon said he has no new information on Schwarber’s progress in any area. Last year’s No. 4 overall draft pick joined Class AAA Iowa teammate Carl Edwards Jr. – the club’s top minor-league pitcher – in Sunday’s All-Star Futures Game.