The Cubs were overmatched by Indians starter Trevor Bauer last night, losing 6-0. It was a pretty uneventful game — but we did get to see hyped prospect Kyle Schwarber make his major-league debut. Although probably not in a way we expected.
Schwarber, who was called up before Tuesday’s game to serve as a designated hitter while the Cubs play their next two series in American League parks, did not get the start. But he entered the game in the top of the 9th … at catcher.
The Cubs were down 5-0 at the time, and Miguel Montero had been tossed for arguing with the home-plate umpire. So into the fire he went. Schwarber made some nice stops behind the dish but wasn’t tested much in terms of throwing out baserunners or anything.
Leading off the bottom of the 9th, Schwarber was greeted by tough lefty Marc Rzepczynski and ended up striking out on three pitches. Welcome to the bigs, Schwarbs.
Since drafting him just over a year ago, the Cubs have maintained that Schwarber will be a catcher in the majors. Many people have speculated that his bat will outpace his defensive inexperience, ultimately resulting in Schwarber being shipped to a different position to get him to Chicago sooner.
But it really sounds like this catching thing may stick. “We’re more convinced now than ever that he’s going to catch, and catch a long time in the big leagues,” Theo Epstein told Patrick Mooney before Tuesday’s game.
Obviously, if Schwarber is able to excel as a catcher, his bat becomes a huge advantage at that position. He seems to have the work ethic and make-up to get it done. It’ll be interesting to see how he progresses over the next couple years.
As for this year, the Cubs may move him to left field when it comes time for a late-season call-up. “We’re monitoring his workload … and then we can kind of maybe mix in some different responsibilities, maybe as a factor for September up here,” Epstein said.
The Cup goes to Wrigley
Before Tuesday’s game, the Chicago Blackhawks made an appearance at Wrigley Field, celebrating with the Stanley Cup after the team’s thrilling championship win on Monday.
This may have been the high point of the night. It was kind of all downhill from there.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) June 16, 2015
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) June 17, 2015
Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews also threw out the first pitch.
Big surprise, but the Cardinals and Pirates both won again yesterday. Despite all of the injuries, the Cardinals aren’t slowing down. The latest casualty is St. Louis closer Trevor Rosenthal, who has been unavailable the past couple days due to arm tightness.
No problem though, as Kevin Seigrist pitched a scoreless 9th over the Twins to record the save.
The White Sox couldn’t help out the Cubs, as they were shut out by the Pirates for the second night in a row. If you haven’t watched the White Sox much his year, that’s probably a good thing. It might be hazardous to your health. They have been playing some really bad baseball of late.
* To make room for Kyle Schwarber, the Cubs sent RHP Brian Schlitter back to Triple-A.
* Schlitter may not be down for long, however. LHP Zac Rosscup left Tuesday night’s game in the top of the 9th, pointing to his shoulder. It didn’t look good, but hopefully it’s nothing too serious.
* To build on yesterday’s bizarre story about the Cardinals being accused of hacking the internal networks of the Houston Astros, Ken Rosenthal writes about Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow. He says Luhnow’s somewhat grating personality may have led to disgruntled Cardinals employees seeing to embarrass the former Cardinals GM. Jeff Passan reports that the FBI has traced the hack to a house in Florida, near where the Cardinals host Spring Training. Stay tuned on this story. It could have huge implications.