The Kyle Schwarber Conundrum…Or Not?
Last night the Cubs beat the White Sox 6-3. After giving up a couple of home runs early, Jon Lester had a solid outing and the Cubs bats continued to thrive following the All Star break.
Perhaps the most entertaining part of the game came in the bottom of the sixth inning in which JD had to explain to Len what a fidget spinner is because, apparently, Len Kasper lives under a rock when he’s not at the baseball field or some gig. It was a pretty cringey three minutes of commentary.
On to some thoughts, then:
What Do We Do About Kyle Schwarber?
Last night, Kyle Schwarber looked great. He hit two home runs and had a triple (WHAT!?) in the sixth, but he’s still struggling mightily this year.
I’ve wanted to write about Schwarber and his down year for a while, and I decided I was going to today before he had a great game last night. So, joke’s on me I guess.
I have honestly been skeptical of Schwarber all year.
Think about it: he had a great World Series, but other than that, we have an incredibly small sample size of at-bats for him in the MLB.
Well, until now.
After his first full half-season (plus a couple of weeks) in the big leagues, Schwarber is batting .191 with a .308 OBP. Sure he has 17 home runs, but still. His subpar outfield play with his struggling bat makes me wonder: how long is he allowed to play like this (last night being the exception) until it’s time to move him?
Sometimes I just wonder if the Cubs outfield would be better off if the daily crew was Ian Happ, Albert Almora, and Jason Heyward left to right, with Jon Jay filling in for whomever when necessary.
I know it might be considered heresy, especially after the display of power last night, but I am just starting to feel like dealing Schwarber to an AL team to use as a DH in exchange for a solid, young starting pitcher may be the best option—if not this year, maybe next.
I love the guy and think he may have a high ceiling, I just wonder if he might be better used as a trade chip than an everyday left fielder in the long run. I am interested in what others think here, though, because I’m not sold either way. Last night gave me hope.
Anthony Rizzo Is Hot!
To which most women reply, “Tell me something I don’t know.”
But really, the last couple of games, Anthony Rizzo has really started to hit the ball (finally). He hasn’t had a terrible year, but it doesn’t seem like he’s had quite the pop we have come to expect from him.
Last night he went 2-for-4 with a solo home run. He has been hitting well since after the All Star break and it has been a welcome sight.
Jon Lester Threw to First Base!
Sure, he skipped the ball on the grass like a six-year-old skips rock on a pond, but hey, it hit Rizzo’s glove before the runner’s foot in the bag. Better to one-hop it than to send it over Rizzo’s head like a missile.
This weekend is going to be awesome. With the Cubs now in first place 1.5 games ahead of the Brewers, the Cubs can go to Milwaukee with the opportunity to defend their lead, rather than trying to take it from the Brew Crew.
The Brewers are coming off of a terribly difficult series with the Washington Nationals.
Should be a great weekend series! Let’s hope the bats stay hot.