ST. LOUIS – Cubs rookie slugger Kyle Schwarber cleared enough medical hurdles by Tuesday to come off the bench and hit in a game for the first time in a week.
Schwarber, sidelined since developing soreness in his rib cage before a game last week, pinch hit in the eighth inning and tapped to the pitcher.
“I’m going to check on it, but you may see him start [in left field Wednesday afternoon],” manager Joe Maddon said after the Cubs’ 8-5 victory over the Cardinals Tuesday night. “I’m going to make sure everything’s in line.”
Schwarber suffered the injury while taking pregame swings in the batting cage before Wednesday’s game at Wrigley Field.
Maddon said he doesn’t expect to use Schwarber, a catcher/left fielder, to start behind the plate the rest of the season.
The Cubs on Tuesday activated reliever Neil Ramirez (abdominal soreness) from the disabled list and recalled reliever Yoervis Medina from AAA Iowa. Along with Monday’s additions from the minors of lefty Zac Rosscup and right-hander Carl Edwards Jr., the Cubs have 13 relievers in the pen.
“I would hope so,” Maddon said. “I don’t know if there’s enough chairs out there, actually.”
–Hoyer said right-fielder Jorge Soler (oblique) might be ready for a simulated game to test game readiness sometime during the weekend series in Philadelphia.
–Class AA catcher Willson Contreras led the Southern League batting race by four points entering play Monday – then went 4-for-4 in the final game of the season to clinch the title (.333). “That says a lot about a guy’s makeup,” Hoyer said. The converted third baseman is expected to be in his first big-league camp next spring and open the season at AAA Iowa.
–Anthony Rizzo’s first-inning homer Tuesday was the 100th of his career.