Cubs

Cubs set World Series roster, complete with Kyle Schwarber

Cubs set World Series roster, complete with Kyle Schwarber

CLEVELAND - The Chicago Cubs set their 25-man roster for the World Series Tuesday morning.

There's a phrase a lot of Cubs fans may have thought they'd never be reading.

The World Series kicks off Tuesday night in Cleveland as the Indians and Cubs square off in a Game 1 matchup between Corey Kluber and Jon Lester. 

And with the roster announcement comes the official declaration that Kyle Schwarber will be back in a uniform and will take the field as an active player.

Schwarber, rehabbing from a torn ACL and LCL in the first week of the season, spent the last couple days seeing live pitching and getting some game action in the Arizona Fall League. He flew to Cleveland Monday night to get ready for the World Series.

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To add Schwarber - the franchise leader in postseason home runs - to the roster, the Cubs removed left-handed relief pitcher Rob Zastryzny from the NLCS roster. Zastryzny was added as another weapon to combat all the Los Angeles Dodgers' left-handed hitters, but the rookie never got into a game.

Here's the rest of the Cubs World Series roster:

CATCHERS

Willson Contreras
Miguel Montero
David Ross

INFIELDERS

Anthony Rizzo
Kris Bryant
Javy Baez
Addison Russell

OUTFIELDERS

Dexter Fowler
Jason Heyward
Ben Zobrist
Albert Almora Jr.
Chris Coghlan
Kyle Schwarber
Jorge Soler

STARTING PITCHERS

Jon Lester
Jake Arrieta
Kyle Hendricks
John Lackey

RELIEF PITCHERS

Aroldis Chapman
Hector Rondon
Pedro Strop
Carl Edwards Jr.
Justin Grimm
Mike Montgomery
Travis Wood

Schwarber is listed as an outfielder, but he will almost assuredly not play the field and act simply as a designated hitter during games in Cleveland or a pinch hitter in Chicago.

Zobrist spent most of the season playing second base, but he's been in the outfield almost exclusively in the postseason in order to get Baez - the breakout star of October - into the lineup every day.

The Cubs released a hype video for Schwarber's return:

The Indians also released their roster, with their own injured star (pitcher Danny Salazar) returning as well:

CATCHERS

Yan Gomes
Roberto Perez

INFIELDERS

Jason Kipnis
Francisco Lindor
Mike Napoli
Jose Ramirez
Carlos Santana
Michael Martinez

OUTFIELDERS

Lonnie Chisenhall
Coco Crisp
Rajai Davis
Brandon Guyer
Tyler Naquin

STARTING PITCHERS

Corey Kluber
Josh Tomlin
Trevor Bauer
Ryan Merrit

RELIEF PITCHERS

Cody Allen
Andrew Miller
Bryan Shaw
Danny Salazar
Mike Clevinger
Jeff Manship
Zach McAllister
Dan Otero

Bold predictions for the Cubs' 2019-20 offseason

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USA TODAY

Bold predictions for the Cubs' 2019-20 offseason

The Cubs are just a couple of weeks away from a pivotal offseason that could see a lot of change coming to Chicago's North Side.

Then again, we thought the same thing a year ago and it turned out Theo Epstein's biggest move last winter was signing Daniel Descalso to a two-year deal.

But after missing the playoffs in 2019, the Cubs are now at a crossroads as an organization. 

The NBC Sports Chicago crew previewed the offseason on the latest CubsTalk Podcast with some bold predictions for the winter.

Listen here and check out the fearless calls below:

(Note: Rationale and more context on each bold prediction in the podcast.)

David Kaplan

1. Cubs are going to take a page out of the Yankees' book and retool on the fly rather than go all-in to contend in 2020.
2. Jose Quintana has thrown his last pitch as a Cub.
3. This will be the second-to-last offseason for Theo Epstein as the Cubs president of baseball operations.

Kelly Crull 

1. Cubs re-sign Nick Castellanos and trade away Kyle Schwarber.
2. Tyler Chatwood will be in the 2020 rotation.
3. John Lackey will be named quality assurance coach on David Ross's coaching staff. (Kidding, but only kind of...)

Tony Andracki

1. Before the Cubs play a Spring Training game, Javy Baez will sign an extension that will keep him in Chicago through at least 2023.
2. Willson Contreras will be traded this winter and the Cubs will get some much-needed pitching help in return.
3. Cubs sign Howie Kendrick this winter as the professional bat and lefty-masher they craved in 2019.
4. Ben Zobrist will return on a one-year deal and finish his playing career in a Cubs uniform.
5. David Bote, Albert Almora Jr. and Addison Russell will all be traded or non-tendered this winter as the Cubs remake their bench/depth.

Jeff Nelson

1. Willson Contreras will sign a contract extension.
2. Ben Zobrist will return as a player/coach.
3. Jose Quintana will be traded for minor league depth.
4. Terrance Gore will be signed to be the 26th man on the roster under the new rules.

Theo Epstein’s dog damages Arizona rental property with excessive urine

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USA Today

Theo Epstein’s dog damages Arizona rental property with excessive urine

In the midst of an intensive hiring process for the new Cubs manager, Theo Epstein is being sued by an Arizona couple claiming Epstein’s dog, Winston, damaged their house. The cause of damage? Peeing excessively inside the property Epstein rented for spring training in 2015.

Yes, you read that right, Epstein’s dog peed so much he’s being sued.

The lawsuit was filed this Tuesday in Maricopa County, according to the Phoenix New Times, citing Epstein’s dog left “a terrible odor and urine-stained carpeting” in the Paradise Valley, Ariz., home where he and his family stayed.

Winston is a rescue mutt, weighing in at around ten pounds. He can’t pee that much, right?

The lawsuit states the dog "peed prolifically in the $1 million house, staining tile and stone flooring, wood door jams, cabinets, and furniture."

John and Mary Valentino referenced a 2017 quote by Epstein as proof that Winston had a peeing problem. When asked about being named the world’s greatest leader by Fortune magazine after the Cubs 2016 World Series win, Epstein said: “I can’t even get my dog to stop peeing in the house.”

Epstein left the rental property two weeks early due to a scorpion infestation later was shown a repair estimate of $51,405, according to the report.

Julian Green, the Cubs vice president of communications, told the New Times the lawsuit was “baseless.” He also said that an exterminator discovered 45 scorpions on the property that “put (Epstein’s) family at risk every time they put their children to sleep.” The Epsteins moved into a different house for the last two weeks of spring training.

The owners kept the $5,000 security deposit, and according to a source the Epsteins did not hear from them again for more than four years until the suit was filed Tuesday.

When asked about the lawsuit, Epstein replied, “As I said, we have no untouchables. Winston is definitely available in the right trade.”

We’ll be keeping tabs on this story as it unfolds. In the meantime, it’s good to see Epstein still has a sense of humor, even with a dog urine lawsuit and a Cubs managerial search on the line.

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