Kyle Schwarber is only supposed to be with the Chicago Cubs through the team’s stretch of games at American League ballparks.
After they return home, and play against National League competition, it’s expected that Schwarber will be sent back down to AA. However, his play over the last week has many in Chicago asking themselves this question.
“Can Kyle Schwarber actually makes us a better ball club right now?”
Since his promotion to the majors, Schwarber has been regulated to DH duty. The Cubs decided to give the 2014 1st round pick the chance to test the waters of the MLB, and the 22-year-old has done nothing but produce during his first major league call-up.
He is hitting .462 with four RBI’s and one home run.
They are impressive stats to say the least, something the Cubs front office envisioned when the made the decision to recall him from the minors. However, nobody expected this kind of production. Schwarber has been one of the hottest hitters in baseball since his promotion, and now the Cubs are faced with the tough task of sending the youngster back down to the minors.
Although, that was all part of the plan though, as Chicago never planned to keep Schwarber on the roster once the team finished their run against the American League. Now, with a clear indication of the type of player Schwarber is, what should be the next move?
The Cubs currently have Schwarber playing as the team’s catcher at their AA affiliate. Questions about his long term project-ability at the position have been circling through the organization since they drafted him. The Cubs are in dire need of a impact back stop at the major league level. However, Schwarber’s skills behind the plate are not up to par for the major leagues, and until he learns the art of the position he will likely stay in the minors.
Although, the Cubs do have the option of placing Schwarber at one of the team’s outfield positions. Cubs manager, Joe Maddon, is hopeful for Schwarber’s MLB future, and envisions him seeing time at both outfield and catcher in the near future.
“He’s been doing great,” Maddon said before Friday night’s game against the Minnesota Twins. “He needs to complete his undergrad program in catching, or whatever, and hopefully he gets some work in the outfield too. It’s wonderful what he’s doing and it’s going to make him even better next time. But this is the National League, you have to play your position.”
The Chicago Cubs are ridiculously deep with talent. They have seen contributions from many minor leaguers over the last calendar year, as Kris Bryant, Addison Russell, Jorge Soler, and even current top prospect, Javier Baez.
The impact Schwarber has made only adds to the teams depth, and that’s something every team in baseball should be concerned with.