The Rundown: Kyle Schwarber 2020 Report Card, Venable Interviews With Tigers, Hulu Drops Marquee, World Series Resumes Tonight

If it seems like a repetitive trend when it comes to the Cubs’ core players, that’s because it is. Like Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, and Javier Báez, Kyle Schwarber had a pitiful season. With a BABIP of .218, the left fielder can at least blame some bad luck for his awful season at the plate. That’s the lone saving grace of his season, however.

Then there is the notion that he let himself fall into some previously bad habits when it came to maintaining his athleticism, something that clearly hurt his outfield play. At one point it even got so bad that manager David Ross pulled him early from a late-season game. Of course, Schwarber is already being mentioned in trade rumors, especially because he is entering his last year of team control. Bad luck at the plate aside, Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer would likely be selling low on a player who looked like he was ready to break out entering this season.

Instead, Schwarber spent much of the campaign looking completely lost at the plate with much less power than expected. He seemed unprepared, particularly against pitchers he was facing for the first time, which resulted in the last three weeks of the season being a low point of his career. In his final 23 games, Schwarber batted a putrid .101 with three extra-base hits, three RBI and 21 strikeouts in 69 at-bats. He hit just two home runs the entire month of September, which was painful to watch. Whether he was out of shape or just in a prolonged slump, that’s going to make for a long offseason.

Schwarber is going to need a huge bounceback year before entering free agency. If Theo Epstein believes the slugging outfielder can turn it around, he’ll probably resist the lowball offers from American League teams looking for power at the DH position, at least until the trade deadline in July. I don’t see an offer forthcoming that will make it worthwhile to move Schwarber this winter, but anything is possible.

  • Final Stats: .188/.308/.393, 30 R, 11 HR, 24 RBI 90 wRC+, 0.4 fWAR
  • Final Grade: D

Cubs News & Notes

Odds & Sods

Mookie Betts, Corey Seager, and Cody Bellinger against Moe, Larry & Curly.

Postseason Potables

With the World Series knotted up at one game apiece, hard-throwing right-handers Walker Buehler of the Dodgers and Charlie Morton of the Rays will face off in tonight’s pivotal Game 3 matchup at Globe Life Field in Arlington.

Brandon Lowe staying hot might spell trouble for Buehler. Lowe was Tampa Bay’s best hitter, with 14 homers and 37 RBI during the regular season to complement a .269/.362/.554 slash line before running into a postseason slump, but he might have broken out of it with two taters in a Game 2 victory.

How About That!

Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina is very unhappy that he was not chosen as a finalist for a Gold Glove Award.

Though Molina believes a conspiracy theory exists to prevent him from matching the number of Gold Gloves earned by Reds legendary catcher Johnny Bench, the facts of the matter don’t support his case.

The Yankees could be interested in bringing back Didi Gregorius, but it may not be as easy as simply signing the free agent shortstop.

The Brewers tried to trade for Betts in 2013. The Red Sox were on their way to a World Series title, needed relief help, and then GM Bob Melvin was offering closer Francisco Rodríguez.

Gary Sheffield Jr. would like MLB to allow steroids to help players better recover from injuries. His father was named in the  2007 Mitchell Report as a player who had tested positive for PEDs.

Extra innings

Imagine if the Pirates had held on to Austin Meadows and Tyler Glasnow? Yes, they had Gerrit Cole at that time, too. Their return for moving those three players was Chris Archer, Michael Feliz, Colin Moran, Joe Musgrove, and Jason Martin.

They Said It

  • “I already got a bunch of gray hairs on my head, just because I think a lot about baseball. I don’t need [trade speculation] on my mind too.” – Kyle Schwarber
  • ‘‘People just need to stay positive. We need the love. We need them rooting us on through thick and thin, good and bad. There are lots of quality human beings on this team and some good guys to root for. Continue having our backs and supporting us. That’s all we can ask for.” – David Ross
  • “I kinda blacked out. Going up to bat, your heart is pumping like crazy and then you get up there and you realize it’s the same game. I hit the ball and that whole thing is a blur. I really haven’t watched the game back. I’ve seen the highlights but I haven’t watched everything surrounding that Game 7. I’m gonna wait until the end of my career to do that.” – Dexter Fowler
  • “I think anything that’s new is going to be jarring for a period of time. There were a lot of learning curves and challenges for everybody involved, but quite a bit of it worked very well.” – Marquee Network GM Mike McCarthy

Friday Walk Up Song

Things Have Changed by Bob Dylan – Just a Friday mood. If you haven’t seen the film “Wonder Boys” starring Michael Douglas, Frances McDormand, Robert Downey Jr., and Tobey Maguire, I highly recommend it.

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