Powell at the Park: The return of Kyle Schwarber

Powell at the Park

Kyle Schwarber watches his solo home run in the 7th inning off of Cardinals relief pitcher Kevin Siegrist during Game 4 of the 2015 NLDS at Wrigley Field. (Nuccio DiNuzzo / Chicago Tribune)

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By Kevin Powell

CLEVELAND–There is no official word yet on whether or not Kyle Schwarber will start in Game 1 of the World Series. But there was this from mlb.com’s John Paul Morosi on Monday:

The fan-favorite played a couple games in the Arizona Fall League, and according to reports he looked just fine. He collected a walk and a double in four plate appearances in Monday’s afternoon game.

The Cubs made it official Tuesday morning. Adding Schwarber to the roster in place of reliever Rob Zastryzny.

“We can’t wait to have him back,” shortstop Addison Russell said before their workout at Progressive Field on Monday. “I’m a big Kyle Schwarber fan. I love what he does. And I can’t wait ‘til he gets here.”

And what would the reaction in the clubhouse be if he is added to the roster Tuesday morning?

“Oh man, I think that we might turn it up a little bit. I think that we might turn it up another notch,” Russell added.

Schwarber hasn’t played with the Cubs since April 7. That’s when he suffered a devastating knee injury after colliding with center fielder Dexter Fowler in a game against Arizona while chasing a fly ball. He tore two ligaments in the knee. From what most sports injury experts have said, that’s a 6-9 month recovery period. He’s just shy of seven months.

“Just watching him just dripping sweat every single day, this guy is just drenched…I feel like he’s in the best shape of his life just looking at him,” Kris Bryant said of Schwarber.

The Cubs hung on to the power-lefty during the trade deadline because they know what kind of threat he is at the plate. Schwarber has been around the team constantly all season. There are no shortage of Kyle Schwarber fans in the Cubs locker room.

It’s not that this team needs any sort of emotional uplifting, but it would certainly add another piece of excitement in the journey to end the drought.

And what about the seven month layoff between big league action?

“This guy’s not human,” Bryant said.


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