No more than five minutes after Willson Contreras came up hobbling in Saturday's Cubs win, there was Kyle Schwarber with a catcher's glove in hand.
Schwarber jumped at the chance to squat behind home plate, even if only to warm up a couple of Cubs relievers in between innings while Victor Caratini — Contreras' replacement — got his gear on after hitting.
You better believe Schwarber has been in Joe Maddon's ear, reminding him he can catch while the Cubs' depth is being tested with Contreras out for the next month with a Grade-2 hamstring strain.
"Oh he wants to play, man," Maddon said, laughing. "He came in after the game [Sunday] and talked to me about actually starting a game. He's ready to roll."
Maddon confirmed Schwarber would serve as the Cubs' emergency catcher over the next few weeks — a position he already filled even when Contreras was healthy.
The team currently has Caratini and Taylor Davis for depth and will likely add a veteran from outside the organization in some capacity.
Schwarber came up as a part-time catcher in the Cubs system, playing 72 games and more than 623 innings at the position. He also caught 21 games (15 starts) in his rookie season of 2015 before blowing out his knee in the collision with Dexter Fowler in April 2016.
Since then, Schwarber has not started a game at catcher in the big leagues, only seeing four appearances and seven total innings behind the dish (all of which came in 2017).
While the position's defensive requirements are obviously important, the Cubs also have to find a way to match the offense Contreras was putting up from the catcher spot (.890 OPS).
The lineup has been inconsistent all year, so would it be crazy to see the team get creative and put Schwarber at catcher and somebody like Ian Happ or Albert Almora Jr. in the outfield for an offensive-minded group? The Cubs could always swap out Schwarber for defensive purposes late in games and insert Davis or Caratini.
The short answer: Don't expect to see that.
"I think he'd like that," GM Jed Hoyer said with a smile. "I think we've always felt good about having that as a third catcher if something happened. Most teams have an infielder or something like that, but we have a guy that did it a lot in the minor leagues. He can certainly do it.
"I've always thought the challenge with that kind of thing is the bullpen. It's one thing to catch the starters; it's another thing to catch a series of relievers coming into the game throwing 97 mph. It's a lot different than playing in left field.
"He would do a good job if we needed him, but our goal here is to keep him healthy and keep his bat in the lineup. We made that decision to move him out from behind there for that reason."
Like Hoyer said, the Cubs haven't really considered Schwarber a catcher for years. Even before the devastating knee injury, they weren't sure he'd stick long-term at the most demanding defensive position on the field.
But hey, as Maddon always says, "necessity is the mother of invention," so maybe don't rule anything out over these next few weeks...