Scary, scary moment last night in Arizona. On a ball hit deep in the left field gap, Schwarber (playing left) and Fowler (playing center) collided as each pursued the baseball, which ended up falling, and caroming off the wall for what would turn into an inside-the-park home run for Juan Segura of the Diamondbacks.
The result of the play, however, became irrelevant once it became clear that Kyle Schwarber was in a lot of pain. As the two collided, Schwarber’s left ankle took the brunt of the impact with Fowler.
Luckily, the X-rays came back negative, and it looks like Schwarber will just be dealing with a sprain.
Now, there are a lot of questions to deal with as a result of Schwarber going down. But once again, we are reminded why it’s such a good time to be a Cubs. We’ve got more guys than we know what to do with vying for spots out there, and this should be a great opportunity for some of those guys to get some valuable playing time.
The first guys that come to mind are Soler and Szczur. Both of them have gotten some at-bats thus far, largely because the Cubs started in Anaheim and were able to incorporate a DH, but with Schwarber laid up will see a boost to their time on the field.
Still, the situation at hand has an affect on a host of other guys. Javier Baez comes to mind as a guy who could see himself quickly inserted into games once he gets off the DL, though there is some concern that after being hit by a pitch in a game this week Baez may need more time. If that’s the case, there’s a chance our boy Munenori Kawasaki gets the call up from Iowa, as Joe Maddon may elect to move Kris Bryant into left, creating some space for another infielder. I would argue that the chance of this happening is pretty slim, considering the fact the Tommy La Stella is there to take over at 3rd if need be, and the fact that we still have more outfielders than we know what to do with.
My guess is that Schwarber goes on the DL, Szczur and Soler get some more time in left, and Baez rejoins the squad early next week. For the time being, that gives Soler a chance to find his rhythm, and allows Szczur to continue making his case. As far as Baez is concerned, the guy is versatile, and has big time power, which just goes to show how deep this team really is.