Chicago Cubs slugger Kyle Schwarber has not been medically cleared to play in the outfield as the scene shifts to Chicago for the next three games of the World Series against the Cleveland Indian, president Theo Epstein announced.
Schwarber will be available to pinch-hit at Wrigley but playing him on the field was “too much risk,’ Epstein said.
Schwarber started the first two games of the series as team's designated hitter and went 3 for 7 with two walks and two RBIs after missing the majority of the regular season as a result of tearing two ligaments in his left knee in April.
Doctors have cleared Schwarber to hit, run the bases and slide. SI's Tom Verducci reported that Schwarber is most likely to be used as a pinch hitter in Games 4 and 5.
Cubs manager Joe Maddon was optimistic that Schwarber could play but awaited the medical team's final decision.
"He looks good at the plate. Running the bases, he looks pretty good so far. I talked to him there before his last at-bat, I asked him if he got on base if he was good to go," Maddon said. "He said yes, and I said, 'OK, fine. Just make sure you stay smart with it.' There's nothing about watching him that tells me that he's inhibited right now."
Schwarber was asked after Game 2 if playing the outfield in Chicago was a possibility.
"We'll see," Schwarber said. "I haven't tried it. Nothing's set in stone. No one's told me anything, so as of right now, the story is still the same."
Game 3 is Friday, with the series tied at one game apiece. Josh Tomlin will pitch for the Indians, while NL Cy Young contender Kyle Hendricks will get the ball for the Cubs.
– Scooby Axson