Cubs promoting Kyle Schwarber in response to Miguel Montero’s injury


Cubs promoting Kyle Schwarber in response to Miguel Montero’s injury

Ready or not, the Cubs are about to find out if Kyle Schwarber can catch in the big leagues.

With Miguel Montero headed to the disabled list, the Cubs will promote Schwarber from Triple-A Iowa, fast-tracking their top prospect to Turner Field when the second half opens on Friday against the Atlanta Braves.

Montero is scheduled to see a hand specialist on Friday and will be sidelined for at least 15 days. The two-time All-Star catcher jammed his left thumb in the second-to-last game before the All-Star break. The Cubs had ruled out a broken bone after the initial MRI.

For now, the Cubs plan to rotate Schwarber with veteran catchers David Ross and Taylor Teagarden. But the buzz will revolve around Schwarber, the Futures Game MVP and last year’s No. 4 overall pick out of Indiana University.

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This is the damage Schwarber has done through his first 147 games in the minors: .333 average, 34 homers, 102 RBI and a 1.042 OPS. 

Maybe Schwarber’s left-handed bat can give a struggling lineup a lift. His presence already helped the Cubs as a designated hitter during interleague play. He went 8-for-22 (.364) with one home run and six RBI in six games last month, showing he could be a potential impact player for the stretch run.

[MORE: Schwarber feels he's ready to catch in the big leagues]

A move to left field would have allowed Schwarber to focus on his offense, and not worry about game-calling and pitch-framing while trying to handle all the egos and information overload.

Now, in the heat of a pennant race, the Cubs should get a better idea of whether or not Schwarber can be a long-term answer behind the plate. 


Cubs reportedly interested in Troy Tulowitzki


Cubs reportedly interested in Troy Tulowitzki

According to MLB Insider Jon Heyman, the Cubs are one of the teams interested in free agent shortstop Troy Tulowitzki. The 5-time All-Star will be holding a workout soon, with Chicago being one of the six teams reported to have a scout present at his workout.

Heyman did mention that while the Cubs aren’t necessarily the favorites right now, we will know how good of a chance they will have soon. Tulowitzki and his team are reported to be narrowing down their list to (at least) 6 teams.

Last season Tulowitzki played 66 games for the Blue Jays, batting .249 with 7 home runs and 26 RBI. For his career he is a .290 hitter and is looking for a bounce-back season after dealing with complications from bone spur injuries in both heels over the years.

Toronto has to pay the $38 million left on Tulowitzki's contract, freeing up other teams to sign the veteran to a more reasonable deal. Since the Blue Jays went the route of cutting him, teams can offer Tulowitzki a league minimum salary.

For the Cubs, he represents-however small-a chance to extract great value from a veteran player, which would be a big bonus considering how the Yu Darvish signing backfired in year one.

Tulowitzki is likely to be searching for playing time on a legit title contender, so if he can provide any solid offensive production going forward, he and the Cubs could be a solid match.

Cubs Talk Podcast: Winter Meetings recap


Cubs Talk Podcast: Winter Meetings recap

When nothing happens in Vegas, it stays in Vegas. Luke, Kap and Tony talk about the Cubs lack of moves during the Winter Meetings.

In this episode of the Cubs Talk Podcast with Luke Stuckmeyer, David Kaplan and Tony Andracki:

00:10 - What happen in Vegas stays in Vegas and this year that means nothing. Luke, Kap & Tony talk Cubs lack of moves at Winter Meetings.

00:50 - Where the heck is all the money? This was supposed to be a wide-open window - we step on the accelerator.

01:25 - Cubs keep throwing money at the problem (Chatwood, Darvish) and it has become a cautionary tale.

02:50 - Are the Cubs playing at the shallow end of the kiddie pool?

03:50 - Tony talks about the volatility of the relief market.

05:15 - Where is the bullpen market? Brewers are making moves, but it's still "crickets" for the Cubs.

06:20 - Tony: Other than bullpen - Cubs have to address backup middle infielder most of all.

06:57 - Daniel Descalso rumors. Kap describes him as a grinder who fits the leadership mold.

07:47 - Luke is a little worried about Steve Cishek. He threw a career-high 70 innings last season.

09:34 - The guys talk about the possibility of a "second deadline" for the Winter Meetings to force clubs to make more moves.

11:06 - Luke: "I wanted to see Machado and Harper walking down the strip and making it rain!"

12:45 - Cubs still have so much to address. Some Cubs fans are starting to get a little itchy. Teams in the division are making moves. What about us?

14:45 - Question: Is Anthony Rizzo the third-best 1st baseman in the Central Division?

15:50 - Prediction time: What's biggest move the Cubs will make before opening day? Kap believes that Ian Happ will not be a Cub before the regular season starts.

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below:

Cubs Talk Podcast