MLB Hoosiers: Four Former Indiana Players Set to Resume Baseball Season

The Major League Baseball season gets set to resume on Thursday, and four Indiana Hoosiers are on big-league rosters to start the season.
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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Four months later than planned, the Major League Baseball season finally gets underway on Thursday, with a 60-game season that will be a mad dash to the playoffs.

There are four former Indiana players on the final 30-man rosters, Kyle Schwarber and Josh Phegley of the Chicago Cubs, and Alex Dickerson and Caleb Baragar of the San Francisco Giants.

Three others will stay in shape at alternate sites and might get called up later in the season, Kyle Hart of the Boston Red Sox, Aaron Slegers of the Tampa Bay Rays and Jonathan Stiever of the Chicago White Sox.

Here's the nuts and bolts on the seven Hoosiers, and a schedule of their first game.

Kyle Schwarber, Chicago Cubs

  • Status: 30-man roster
  • Position: Outfielder, designated hitter
  • Pro career: Schwarber was the fourth-overall pick in the 2013 draft by the Cubs, and a World Series hero in 2016. 
  • Next game: Friday night vs. the Milwaukee Brewers, 7:10 p.m. ET
  • The skinny: For years, people have said that Schwarber is better suited to being a designated hitter than an outfielder, and now he'll get that chance with all of baseball using the DH in  this abbreviated season.  He's ready to hit the ground running. “I think that’s gonna be up to the hitters,” Schwarber said. “Everyone always says the pitchers are catching up, but I think with the way the game is going now there are so many plus-arms in the bullpen. I think it’s gonna be a little challenge. Some pitchers might be on pitch count early. They might only be at 70 pitches and that could be three innings or four innings. Usually you’re planning on a starter to stay in there for five innings. But it could be three innings for a starter and six innings for a bullpen.''
Kyle Schwarber will likely be the designated hitter for the Cubs this season. (USA TODAY Sports)

Kyle Schwarber will likely be the designated hitter for the Cubs this season. (USA TODAY Sports)

Josh Phegley, Chicago Cubs

  • Status: 30-man roster
  • Position: Catcher
  • Pro career: Phegley was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the second round of the 2009 draft. He has played seven seasons in the majors, with the White Sox and Oakland A's. This is his first season with the Cubs.
  • Next game: Friday night vs. the Milwaukee Brewers, 7:10 p.m. ET
  • The skinny: Phegley benefited from the expanded rosters, as the Cubs decided to keep three catchers.He is behind Willson Contreras and Victor Caratini, and if both stay healthy, he'll likely be used mostly as a pinch-hitter.
Josh Phegley is in his first year with the Cubs, as a backup catcher. (USA TODAY Sports)

Josh Phegley is in his first year with the Cubs, as a backup catcher. (USA TODAY Sports)

Caleb Baragar, San Francisco Giants

  • Status: 30-man roster
  • Position: Pitcher
  • Pro career: Baragar was drafted by the Giants in the ninth round of the 2016 draft. He is 18-20 with a 3.92 ERA in 71 starts. Tonight will be his first major-league game. 
  • Next game: Thursday night at Los Angeles Dodgers, 10 p.m.
  • TV: ESPN
  • The skinny: Baragar wasn't even on the Giants' 60-man spring training roster, but he was added late and was so impressive that he made the team.  “I just kind of came and I was ready to go, but I didn’t expect this to happen,” Baragar said. “I was just coming in and trying to showcase I put in a little bit of extra work and tried to improve on some stuff and it really paid off.” The body followed the mind, first needing to understand how his pitches work, then honing how he can throw them. “All the pieces of the puzzle are all coming together,” said the most surprising puzzle piece of the Giants.
Caleb Baragar surprised a lot of people by making the Giants' 30-man roster. (USA TODAY Sports)

Caleb Baragar surprised a lot of people by making the Giants' 30-man roster. (USA TODAY Sports)

Alex Dickerson, San Francisco Giants

  • Status: 30-man roster
  • Position: Outfielder
  • Pro career: Dickerson was drafted in the third round of the 2011 draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates. He has played three years in the majors, the first two with the San Diego Padres and last year with the Giants. 
  • Next game: Thursday night at Los Angeles Dodgers, 10 p.m.
  • TV: ESPN
  • The skinny: Dickerson had a great spring, hitting .320, and seemed set to start before the season was delayed. The Giants get the season going against their arch rivals, the Dodgers.
Alex Dickerson has found a home with the San Francisco Giants. (USA TODAY Sports)

Alex Dickerson has found a home with the San Francisco Giants. (USA TODAY Sports)

Kyle Hart, Boston  Red Sox

  • Status: Taxi squad
  • Position: Pitcher
  • Pro career: Drafted in the 19th round by the Red Sox in 2016, he has played four seasons in the minor leagues, He has a 25-29 record, but has posted an impressive 3.13 ERA, mostly as a starting pitcher. 
  • Next game: None
  • The skinny: Hart didn't make the Red Sox's final cut, but he'll be training in Pawtucket at their alternate site and will be ready to go if called.  He said he's enjoying working out at Fenway Park with the Red Sox. “I get to work at Fenway every day,” Hart said. “Just trying to imagine what it sounds like with tens of thousands of people, because that’s the part that’s missing right now. You can throw four or five (scoreless innings) in an intersquad, but can you do it against the Yankees with the game on the line, with 35,000 or 40,000 people yelling at you? I’m hoping I get to experience that last piece.”

Aaron Slegers, Tampa Bay Rays

  • Status: Taxi squad
  • Position: Pitcher
  • Pro career: Drafted in the fifth round by the Minnesota Twins in 2013, Slegers has a 54-43 record in the minor leagues during the past seven years, with a 3.75 ERA. He made brief stops in the major leagues with the Twins in 2017 and 2018, and last year with the Rays. He has a 1-2 record in the bigs, with a 5.63 ERA
  • Next game: None
  • The skinny: Slegers didn't make the 30-man roster, mostly because the Rays have one of the deepest pitching staffs in baseball. “This organization is as stacked as I’ve ever seen,” Slegers said earlier this week. “My firsthand knowledge of seeing all the guys in the bullpen, they have some of the nastiest pitches I’ve ever seen. We’re going to be in really good shape.”

Jonathan Stiever, Chicago White Sox

  • Status: Taxi squad
  • Position: Pitcher
  • Pro career: Drafted in the fifth round in 2018, he has started 39 games in two years, posting a 10-11 record with a 3.59 ERA. He has 193 strikeouts in 173 innings.
  • Next game: None
  • The skinny: Stiever was added to the White Sox's 60-man roster last week, and will be on their taxi squad to start the season. 

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