Could Miguel Montero’s injury create an opening for top prospect Kyle Schwarber behind the plate? It’s something the Cubs will have to consider if Montero’s jammed left thumb becomes a worst-case scenario.
“Of course,” manager Joe Maddon said Sunday. “But for right now, we have not gotten to that point.”
Schwarber didn’t get a taste of the crosstown rivalry, spending his weekend some 300 miles away from Wrigley Field and being a part of the All-Star Futures Game in Cincinnati.
The Cubs activated David Ross from the seven-day concussion disabled list before Sunday’s game and started Taylor Teagarden against the White Sox.
The Cubs are still waiting to get a better read on Montero’s MRI, though they have ruled out a broken bone. Montero caught Jon Lester for two innings on Saturday before leaving the game, and it’s unclear how serious this injury might be.
“I don’t know,” Maddon said. “I’m hearing the initial evaluation was like it could be not so bad — and then it could be bad. It totally is in this like midrange thing.
“We’re waiting to hear back the test results. We’ll know more, obviously, over the next couple days, and we’ll figure it out. We’ll use the All-Star break to try and assess where we’re at and how we want to move forward in the second half.”
The Cubs fast-tracked Schwarber and promoted him from Double-A Tennessee last month to make him their designated hitter for a stretch of interleague play. He went 8-for-22 (.364) with one home run and six RBIs in six games before heading to Triple-A Iowa to continue his education as a catcher.
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Since the Cubs drafted Schwarber No. 4 overall out of Indiana University last year, he has hit .333 with 34 homers, 102 RBIs and a 1.042 OPS through 147 career games in the minors.
The Cubs have never really questioned Schwarber’s bat, hoping he could stay behind the plate while knowing he could always move to left field. That could be the plan by the middle of August or early September — if not sooner — since the Cubs will need an offensive spark in the playoff chase.
“Schwarber’s always in the consideration for what we’re doing in the future,” Maddon said. “I don’t know exactly how he’s been playing, or what we think of him as a catcher right now. I haven’t heard anything new. I haven’t been researching it. So we’ll find out.”