With Kyle Schwarber Done For The Season, Where Do The Cubs Go Now?

Kyle Schwarber

Fans of the Chicago Cubs are always planning for a disaster to strike and thus was the case on Thursday night when outfielder/catcher Kyle Schwarber collided with Dexter Fowler in left-center field. Replay showed Schwarber’s left leg being bent in a very scary angle, and on Friday, Schwarber was diagnosed with a torn ACL and LCL, ending his season. ESPN’s Buster Olney was first to report on the injury being season-ending before the Cubs made the official announcement on Friday via Twitter.

The loss of Kyle Schwarber is certainly significant for the Cubs as he was projected to be one of, if not the top home run hitter in 2016 for the Cubbies. Chicago’s incredible depth in the outfield (Dexter Fowler, Jorge Soler, Jason Heyward, and Ben Zobrist), will allow Joe Maddon’s bunch to overcome the loss of Schwarber, but the loss of a power bat with the ability to play multiple defensive positions is a tough hit.

None of the players expected to platoon Schwarber’s void in left field have anywhere near the power of Schwarbo, which will certainly cause for a mix up to the Chicago batting order. Also adding to Cubs fans misery with Schwarber’s injury is the likeliness that Schwarber will never be able to play catcher again due to the pressure being put on his knees by simply playing the position. The loss of Schwarber could force the Cubs to go to a more speedy/non-power hitting style of offense, specifically for their outfielders, and that seems like the best option right now with the attributes possessed by both Heyward and Fowler.

With so much money having already been spent on the free agent front (Heyward, Zobrist, Lackey, Fowler) it is unlikely that the Cubs will be big players on the trade market before or at this year’s trade deadline. The loss of Kyle Schwarber certainly creates the need for an outfielder/utility player, but the Cubs already have a significant amount of money invested into four legitimate outfielders. The idea that Theo Epstein and company would be willing to take on a big contract for a rental player does not seem too logical right now. Unless either Zobrist, Fowler, or Heyward go down, the Cubs will likely try to keep their four-man rotation in the outfield and pray that both Miguel Montero and David Ross can stay healthy in order to maintain order behind the plate.

Right now, the only things that Cubs fans can do are to pray for the remainder of their lineup to stay healthy and for a speedy recovery by Schwarber. Tough blow for Cubs fans but an even bigger blow to people who took Schwarber early in their fantasy baseball drafts (like me). 

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