The Chicago Cubs will call up highly-touted prospect Kyle Schwarber to be their designated hitter during two upcoming series in American League ballparks and then send him to Triple A, the team confirmed to ESPN Chicago's Jesse Rogers.
Schwarber, 22, was the No. 4 pick in last year's draft. He will be with the team for six games, five of which are in AL stadiums, to DH and pinch hit, according to Rogers. The Cubs play in the Indians in Chicago on Tuesday and in Cleveland on Wednesday and Thursday. They then travel to Minnesota for three games against the Twins Friday through Sunday.
Schwarber has spent this season playing in Double A and will be sent to Triple A after his brief major-league stint. He is batting .318 with 1.017 OPS, 13 home runs and 48 strikeouts in 57 games.
"His next stop is to continue his development as a catcher at Triple-A," Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein told ESPN.com. "First, however, he is going to join the major league team for six days to contribute as a designated hitter, as a bat off the bench and as a third catcher. He will also use the time in the big leagues to experience firsthand all that goes into being a major league catcher. Regardless of how this week goes, Kyle will head to Triple-A after Sunday's game."
The Cubs drafted Schwarber as a catcher and he has played 36 games there this season with five errors and seven passed balls. Many scouts doubt he has the defensive ability to be a full-time catcher in the majors. He played 36 games in leftfield last season, compared to 20 behind the plate, but has not played the outfield this season.
- Dan Gartland