Cubs letting Kyle Schwarber 'chill' for a few days with rib injury


Cubs letting Kyle Schwarber 'chill' for a few days with rib injury

Kyle Schwarber has turned into one of the most important hitters for the Cubs, but manager Joe Maddon won't be writing the rookie's name on the lineup card for a few days.

Schwarber will sit out the next three-to-five days with a strained right rib cage suffered on a check swing during warm-ups in the batting cage prior to Wednesday afternoon's game. He was taken out of the lineup that day and went for an MRI.

[RELATED - Cubs scratch Schwarber Wednesday with rib soreness]

Schwarber will not play at all this weekend against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Wrigley Field, with new acquisition Austin Jackson instead in the lineup Friday afternoon, playing right field (and pushing Chris Coghlan to left) and hitting second.

"We'll just wait a couple days to let it cool down and try to figure out exactly where it's taking us," Maddon said. "We're gonna just chill a little bit right now, figure it out and move on from there.

"You just have to permit it to calm down. Once it calms down, you get a better read and then you take it from there. The big thing was that Schwarbs shut it down immediately when he felt something.

"We don't feel like it's very severe. It's so hard to judge. You just don't know. You just gotta let it play out and hope for the best right now."

Schwarber is an ex-linebacker and carries that football mentality to the baseball diamond. He said his rib cage doesn't hurt when he breathes or moves or even if he were to swing right now.

He admitted it's killing him to be missing games right now, but he also understands the importance of getting back to full health.

"Nothing to rush," Schwarber said. "Don't want to hurt the team in any way possible if I get re-injured, but I'll try to get back as soon as I can.

"It is hard. You want to go out there and help this team win. We're in a playoff race right now. It is a little bit frustrating, but that's part of the game.

"You have to let your body heal and make sure you're 100 percent. If you're not 100 percent, you're hurting the team."

[MORE - Why Theo Epstein thinks these Cubs can withstand the pressure]

He said his goal is to get back for the big series with the Cardinals in St. Louis that begins Monday afternoon.

In the meantime, Schwarber said he's going to turn into the Cubs' biggest cheerleader, focusing on being a good teammate in the dugout until he can get back on the field.

But if this were the playoffs, would Schwarber be in the lineup?


Yu Darvish emotional after Cubs lose another tough one: 'I'm so frustrated'

Yu Darvish emotional after Cubs lose another tough one: 'I'm so frustrated'

With their postseason hopes fading by the day and the Cubs needing him most, Yu Darvish delivered on Sunday.

And yet, the game ended in a far-too familiar way for the Cubs: with a 3-2 loss, the Cubs’ fifth-straight one-run defeat — and third since Thursday when they were tied or leading in the ninth inning or later.

“If you just play back the tape, it’s almost unbelievable that it turned out this way,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “Also, the games against Cincinnati. For the last six, this is really wash and repeat. Of course it’s frustrating."

Darvish was extremely emotional postgame, as evidenced by a mud stain spread across his locker resulting from an anger-laced throw of his cleat. He pitched well — 8 1/3 innings, three earned runs, 12 strikeouts and no walks — only running into trouble in the ninth.

“I’m so frustrated, you can see it, right?” he said, looking back at his locker. “We have to win, especially today, but we lost.”

The 33-year-old right-hander was rolling heading into the ninth, which started off with pinch-hit triple by Jose Martinez that hit off Albert Almora Jr.’s glove, despite a valiant diving effort.

“It sucks that we couldn’t win that game,” Almora said. “I really wanted to make that play there. Can’t catch them all, but I tried.”

For what it’s worth, Craig Kimbrel didn’t pitch Sunday because he was unavailable, though Maddon said he would’ve stuck with Darvish even if his closer was available.

"I was happy at that point, but right now everything just….There’s no words right now," Darvish said.

That’s neither here nor there, though. What matters is that the Cubs lost another game that they seemed to have in their grasp, only to see it slip away late. They're now eliminated from NL Central contention, and their elimination number in the Wild Card race is three.

Even Maddon struggled to explain the series, one where the Cubs played quite well but only saw their playoff hopes take a big hit.

“It’s really difficult,” he said. “You look at it, how did that all happen? How did we lose all those four games? They were just one runner better than us every night and they were really evenly matched. That’s all I will concede.”

Although Darvish admitted he feels responsible for Sunday’s loss, Maddon spoke highly of the right-hander, even comparing how he's pitched to what Jake Arrieta did during his tenure with the Cubs. 

“I saw Jake pitch really well and win a Cy Young, but this is equivalent of all of that,” he said. “The stuff, command of his stuff. [Darvish] absolutely deserved a better fate.”

Whether you think that Maddon was being too hyperbolic there or not, there’s no doubting that Darvish looked excellent for majority of his outing on Sunday. Baseball is a game of inches, something the Cubs experienced firsthand this weekend.

“They got us. They got us,” Maddon said. “Give them credit for that, but we did not leave anything on the field, man.”

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Cubs Talk Podcast: Swept by the Cardinals (and playoff dreams dashed)

USA Today

Cubs Talk Podcast: Swept by the Cardinals (and playoff dreams dashed)

On the latest Cubs Talk Podcast, Tony Andracki and Kelly Crull discuss the Cardinals sweep, Yu Darvish taking the loss so hard, and what to look for over the final six games of the year.

01:00 - Reaction to being swept by the Cards

03:30 - Darvish taking the loss really hard

05:30 - This is the Yu Darvish Cubs fans thought they were getting when he signed with the Cubs

07:00 - Almora's miscue in the 9th inning of the loss

08:00 - It feels like the end of an era

12:00 - Is this the end of an era for the Cubs?

16:00 - Surprised Rizzo was available on the field for the entire Cardinals series?

20:00 - There is no one thing you can look to that didn't work this season

22:00 - What do you want to see over the final six games?

25:00 - Seeing a cornerstone being helped off the field for a second Sunday in a row

29:00 - How much will we see the injured guys on the field?

Listen here or in the embedded player below. 

Cubs Talk Podcast