Kyle Schwarber has hit plenty of home runs in his career that have sent a jolt through Wrigley Field. He parked a blast atop the right field video board in the 2015 NLDS. Last July, he dumped a walk-off in the left field basket against the Reds.
Fans obviously won’t be around to erupt at Schwar-bombs this season, with those sitting atop Wrigley’s surrounding rooftops being an exception. The Cubs slugger, who often acknowledges the fans in the bleachers while on defense, has a plan to show fans some in-game love this year.
“I'm gonna have to launch some balls up to the rooftops and give them a good little shimmy dance out there,” Schwarber said in a Wednesday Zoom call.
Wrigley Field rooftops are allowed to open at 25 percent capacity this season, giving the Cubs some form of fan presence during games. Cubs manager David Ross said the math is “way above” his head for how far the rooftops are but fans know hitting a ball there can be done.
In 2000, Glenallen Hill hit a blast onto the rooftop directly behind the left field bleachers, estimated at 490 feet — some speculating it traveled further.
Ross added as long as Schwarber clears the wall, he doesn’t care how far his homers go.
“I’ve seen him hit a ball pretty darn far in a big game here,” Ross said, “and that’s good enough for me.”
Some worrisome trends have continued for MLB as they wrap up the second week of the season. More pitchers have gone down with injuries, a concern entering play due to the long layoff and short ramp-up time.
Even more concerning, of course, is the COVID-19 outbreak that has hit the Cardinals, with seven players and six staff members testing positive. St. Louis will be sidelined until Friday, according to the latest update from John Mozeliak
The Marlins and Phillies each returned to play this week after sitting out last week due to Miami’s outbreak. That had a major impact on the Marlins roster, which now has 54 players on the 40-man to account for the 18 players that tested positive.
The Cubs have the second best record in baseball, but the biggest story is that a second team has had a COVID-19 outbreak in the Cardinals, who the Cubs play this weekend.
David Kaplan is joined by the NBCS Chicago Cubs coverage team of Gordon Wittenmyer, Maddie Lee and Tim Stebbins as they discuss the Cardinals outbreak and what MLB is doing to combat it. Later on, they discuss the Cubs hot start and if their record is a result of a soft early schedule.
(1:30) - 13 Cardinals contract the coronavirus
(6:29) - MLB's response to a second team's outbreak