After his first game in more than 6½ months, Kyle Schwarber said he is in play for the Cubs’ World Series roster, although he didn’t travel with the team to Cleveland on Sunday night.
Schwarber had the day off after playing in an Arizona Fall League game Saturday. World Series rosters must be set Tuesday morning.
He was activated from the 60-day disabled list and went 0-for-3 with a walk. He drove a ball to the gap for an out in one of his at-bats.
“It’s day-by-day,” Schwarber said Saturday. “It’s still up for grabs. We have to talk.”
Schwarber, who was -medically cleared last Monday to hit and run the bases, is an ideal addition against an opponent with one potential left-handed starting pitcher, rookie Ryan Merritt, and one lefty reliever, Andrew Miller.
It wasn’t immediately clear whom he would replace on the roster if he’s ready to play. Left-handed-hitting outfielder Chris Coghlan and defensively challenged Jorge Soler are possible candidates.
Schwarber spent the last six months on the DL after he and center fielder Dexter Fowler collided in the outfield on the third day of the season. Schwarber seemed optimistic after his first game since April.
He set a Cubs record last postseason with five homers.
Indians manager Terry Francona said Sunday that 18-game winner Corey Kluber will start Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday in Cleveland. Trevor Bauer and Josh Tomlin are penciled in for Games 2 and 3, respectively. The order could change depending on how Bauer’s stitched-up right pinkie heals over the next few days.
The wild card is All-Star right-hander Danny Salazar, who hasn’t pitched since he left a game Sept. 9 with a strained flexor in his right forearm. Salazar threw “really well,” Francona told reporters after Salazar’s side session Thursday at Progressive Field, and he was slated to throw a three-inning simulated game Sunday.
Salazar might start Game 4, although soft-tossing lefty Merritt — who started and pitched 4⅓ scoreless innings in the Indians’ ALCS-clinching victory — might be a better bet. Merritt has 11 innings of major-league experience.
For the Cubs, NLCS co-MVP Jon Lester is lined up for his third Game 1 start of the postseason. Jake Arrieta, who was scheduled to pitch Game 7 of the NLCS, likely would start Game 2. Kyle Hendricks and John Lackey are good bets to start Games 3 and 4, respectively, at Wrigley Field.
Indians two-time All-Star second baseman Jason Kipnis was a student at Glenbrook North in 2003. How close to home did the Steve Bartman saga hit? Bartman lived on the same street as Kipnis, who went to school with Bartman’s sister.
Kipnis is still friends with Glenbrook North and Duke basketball star Jon Scheyer, his old school chum who is an assistant coach at Duke.
Kipnis sprained his left ankle during the ALCS celebration when he stepped on Francisco Lindor’s foot. The injury isn’t believed to be serious, but Kipnis isn’t 100 percent healthy.
Follow me on Twitter @CST_soxvan.