Cubs notes: Dexter Fowler banged up, Schwarber moves up

SHARE Cubs notes: Dexter Fowler banged up, Schwarber moves up
SHARE Cubs notes: Dexter Fowler banged up, Schwarber moves up

SAN FRANCISCO – Cubs leadoff man Dexter Fowler, who was hit hard enough by baseballs on consecutive days to be sent for x-rays, got a recuperation day Wednesday against the Giants.

And he’ll be evaluated again Thursday before his status for the series finale is determined. X-rays were negative for both the hand that was hit by a pitch Monday and the shin he fouled a ball off Tuesday.

“He’s just a little bit sore,” Maddon said. “So it just seemed like the right thing to do. I’m always looking or excuses to give guys a day off.”

Fowler, one of the most productive members of a surging Cubs lineup since the All-Star break, had played 121 of the Cubs first 124 games, including 117 starts.

Schwarber rising

With Fowler sidelined, No. 2 hitter Kyle Schwarber was used in the leadoff spot Wednesday night for the first time in his young career, just one night after becoming the first in Cubs history to hit 12 home runs in his first 42 career games.

“I’ve thought about it before,” Maddon said. “I don’t see it as a stretch. I did it with [catcher/DH] John Jaso [in Tampa Bay] a couple years ago. They both work an at-bat. Schwarbs probably has more consistent in-game power. I’m not opposed to trying things like that.”

It was the fourth lineup spot for the rookie Schwarber, who entered Wednesday with a .373 on-base percentage.

A modern-day Rickey Henderson? A game-opening home run threat?

“No,” Schwarber deadpanned. “Singles and walks. I’m a singles hitter.”

Close. Schwarber led off the game with a popped-up “double” that landed 15 feet from home plate, between catcher Buster Posey and knocked-down pitcher Jake Peavy.

He later scored on Kris Bryant’s two-out, two-run single.

Loss of Ross

Catcher David Ross has left the team for personal reasons to be with family. He’s been placed on the Family Medical Emergency list, which means an absence of at least three days (maximum of seven).

Jon Lester’s personal catcher would be eligible to return to the active roster Saturday when Lester is scheduled to make his next start, against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Maddon said he didn’t have a timetable for Ross’ return.

Notes: Outfielder Matt Szczur joined the club to take Ross’ roster vacancy – the seventh tour this season for Szczur … Pitching matchups for the three-game Dodgers series this weekend: Jason Hammel vs. Clayton Kershaw, Lester vs. Mat Latos, Jake Arrieta vs. Alex Wood.

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