Amongst all of the excitement of last night’s amazing Cubs win was the fact that Kyle Schwarber made his first rehab appearance last night in the Arizona Fall League. He played for the Mesa Solar Sox at Sloan Park.
Kyle made four plate appearances and registered three official at-bats. In those plate appearances he went 0-for-3 with one walk. Below is video of part of each of his first three at-bats.
The first video show Kyle grounding out to the first baseman.
At-bat number two, resulting in a ground-out to the second baseman:
At-bat number three, resulting in a walk:
So, as you can see, Kyle’s swing looks pretty good. He didn’t make great contact in any of the at-bats I saw but he did line out to center field in the bottom of the eighth inning, after I had left (had to go join the party after the Cubs won the Pennant).
The thought of Kyle even being considered for the World Series roster is reason for excitement. As to whether it’s realistic to expect that he can meaningfully contribute to a team that is playing at the top of their game, it just feels like it’d be a stretch. Of course, I’d love to see him there. I’d love to see him pound a home run, a game-winning home run.
From my view, Kyle looked like he could run/jog but he never took off at full speed. My biggest concern with him playing is whether he can, or should, be able to run at full speed. Let’s face it, the Cubs haven’t made the World Series in quite a while and as romantic as having Schwarber on the roster may seem, if he can’t hit full speed and sprint all-out then he shouldn’t play. I don’t want to see him get hurt and would rather have a 100% healthy Schwarber next year than have him push it to get back if he’s not 100%.
We’ll see what Joe and team decide. My gut tells me that Schwarber will be there but I don’t expect him to play and I think it’s a stretch to think he’d make the roster. Then again, the Cleveland Indians are a right-handed pitching heavy team – Andrew Miller is the only lefty and he comes out of the pen – so it’s not entirely inconceivable that Kyle does make it for match-up purposes alone. A power lefty bat coming off the bench against a nearly all righty line-up would certainly be a welcome addition.
So let’s say Kyle does make it. The question then becomes who’s place he’ll take on the roster. That’s a tough
one. I wouldn’t expect it to be Chris Coghlan, since he’s another lefty. Perhaps Jorge Soler, who’s 0-for-8 with three strikeouts and two walks. And who knows, maybe there’s a chance that Joe goes with 11 pitchers but, at that point, wouldn’t that feel like Joe was pushing the envelope?
A lot to wonder about, that’s for sure. We’ll find out in the next few days and let you know when we hear anything on this. Honestly, I’m just so overjoyed that we even get to talk about this. It’s just so….you know, incredible, amazing, blissful.