Schwarber injury for the Cubs means next man up
Written by: Rodney Knuppel
I write this with such disdain, because of my hatred for the Chicago Cubs. This is supposed to be my own beloved St. Louis Cardinals this is about. This has been the “Cardinal Way” for years, and the early look into the 2016 season is not the way the current Cardinals will look. Kyle Schwarber was in a nasty collision last night with Dexter Fowler. Surprisingly, Dexter Fowler made it out alive. Many NFL players are hit softer against guys that are smaller than Kyle Schwarber and finished their game. Time will tell exactly how long 6’0, 235 lbs(soaking wet) designated hitter, I mean outfielder for the Cubs will be out. It looked nasty, but the next morning it appears just to be an ankle injury. Likely, Kyle Schwarber will at least see the disabled list.
So what’s this mean for the lovable losers, who are looking to shed that title this season, as the favorites to win the 2016 World Series? It means next man up, and it appears the Cubs will have no problem doing just that. The Cubs have scored 29 runs in 3 games, and Schwarber, in five at bats has yet to score a run, or even get a hit. He walked once. Those 29 runs are only behind the Dodgers in the National League, and they have an extra game on the Cubs. Many feared when Schwarber went out with the injury that the offense would take a hit. The hit certainly was not shown initially, as the Cubs poured in 12 runs in the remaining 7 innings following the injury.
The next man up for the Chicago Cubs means more Jorge Soler. The next man up for the Chicago Cubs means a look at Javier Baez. The next man up for the Chicago Cubs means Matt Szczur, a guy that is off to a .571 start, with a homerun and 4 runs batted in, in limited time in the first three games of the season. The Kyle Schwarber injury is exactly the reason the Chicago Cubs went out and stole Jason Heyward from the St. Louis Cardinals. Heck, the Kyle Schwarber injury is exactly why the Chicago Cubs overpaid to get Ben Zobrist. Overpaid can be done with the luxuries you have as the Chicago Cubs. Zobrist can play the outfield, again, a tool my St. Louis Cardinals used to have a bunch of.
Dexter Fowler is off to a sizzling start, as he is batting .583 with a homerun and 4 runs batted in to start the season. Jason Heyward may have started slow, but his 3 hits on Thursday night make Cub fans breath a little sigh of relief. Javier Baez is set to come off the disabled list soon. He may not be ready for the home opener on April 11th, but should be slated back by the middle of the month. If Schwarber has to miss a month, Baez should be on the Cubs roster to soften the blow.
Jorge Soler is a guy the Chicago Cubs flirted with trading. While his trade value was in question then; his value with the Cubs is now important. Soler, at 24 years old, played 101 games last season, and while results varied, in that Cubs lineup filled with power outlets such as Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant, the Cubs can be patient and let Soler figure out his bat.
Now you may ask: “why does everything has to revert back to the St. Louis Cardinals”?, this just goes to show the Cardinals way may not be the working way anymore in the National League Central. The next man up for the St. Louis Cardinals was first Branyan Pena, then it turned to Ruben Tejada, and now it’s gotten to the point of Jeremy Hazlebaker. While two of those three have yet to be able to show their true worth to the team, they are certainly underwhelming options for the St. Louis Cardinals
The point here is – if Kyle Schwarber misses a couple weeks, or a couple months, it takes great courage for me to admit – the Chicago Cubs will still be in good shape without the big linebacker from Middletown, Ohio.