Kyle Schwarber will play in the Arizona Fall League, and the Cubs are hopeful they might have him for the World Series.
Cubs outfielder-slash-catcher Kyle Schwarber was added to the Mesa Solar Sox of the Arizona Fall League on Saturday, and ESPN reports the team is hopeful he might return for the World Series.
With the team in position to advance to the World Series with a 3–2 series lead on the Dodgers, it is technically possible that Schwarber could come off the disabled list and return should the Cubs get there, conceivably as a designated hitter for games played in Cleveland against the Indians.
Schwarber will be a taxi squad player, which makes him eligible to play only on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The Chicago Tribune reports he’s expected to play on Saturday night for the first time since tearing his ACL and LCL in an outfield collision on April 7. The team wants to assess his readiness and get him in-game at-bats before making a decision. Manager Joe Maddon acknowledged the possibility on Saturday.
Joe Maddon on the likelihood of Kyle Schwarber in the WS: "There's a chance....But right now we're just trying to explore all possibilities"— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) October 22, 2016
The World Series starts Tuesday in Cleveland. The Cubs, of course, must win one more game against the Dodgers to get there.
Regardless, Schwarber, 23, is estimably ahead of schedule in his recovery, and likely on track to return ahead of next season. The team had “explored the possibility” of him playing winter ball as the final step. The Cubs’ front office had previously established that Schwarber would not return this season.
Schwarber hit .246 with 16 home runs as a rookie and had a strong showing in the 2015 post-season, batting .333 with five home runs in nine games.