Cubs release a Kyle Schwarber training video and he's basically the second coming of Rocky

Cubs release a Kyle Schwarber training video and he's basically the second coming of Rocky

Kyle Schwarber is basically Rocky Balboa now.

The Cubs outfielder isn't hoisting logs on his shoulder as he runs through snow or battering a frozen hunk of meat with his bare hands. 

But Schwarber got his own Rocky-esque workout montage Thursday as the Cubs showed behind the scenes of his physical transformation into The Best Shape of His Life.

All that's missing is some Survivor or Europe as the background music.

"It's a lifestyle change," Schwarber said in the video. "This isn't just a short fix. You want this to carry on down the road."

Schwarber hasn't said exactly how much weight he's lost (somewhere in the neighborhood of 25 pounds, he said at the Winter Meetings in December) and is probably waiting until he shows up to spring training to give an exact figure, since that leaves another month of working out and eating right.

The dude looks absolutely shredded. He's come a long way in the last few months:

We've already discussed Schwarber's weight plenty this offseason and simply adding muscle and shedding fat does not immediately make a player a superstar.

Schwarber may not be any more primed to hit 50 homers in a season than he was a year ago at this same time. But it certainly doesn't ever hurt to be in better shape, a fact he pointed out in the Cubs video. 

At the very least, Schwarber should be a bit more spry in the outfield tracking down fly balls and maybe less overall weight will help him avoid minor aches and pains, particularly on his surgically-repaired knee.

It's also been a mind-numbingly slow winter in the baseball world, so gimme more Schwarber workout videos. It's a great distraction.

Yu Darvish suffering another setback puts his 2018 season in jeopardy

Yu Darvish suffering another setback puts his 2018 season in jeopardy

Yu have to be kidding me (Sorry, couldn't resist). 

The Cubs were expecting Sunday's rehab start to be the beginning to an end of what has been an extremely disappointing 2018 season for their $126 million man Yu Darvish. Darvish was scheduled to start Sunday for the Cubs single-A affiliate in South Bend, IN, but after just one inning Darvish was checked on by the trainers and eventually pulled before the 2nd inning started. 

According to Steve Greenberg, Darvish asked for an MRI on Monday which likely closes the door on him returning to the Cubs in 2018.

The frustrating thing about Darvish's rehab is that in his two rehab starts, the 32-year-old pitcher has had excellent stuff, touching 95 mph in Sunday afternoon's game before being pulled. 

At this point in the season, it seems unlikely Darvish will be able to return to the Cubs rotation for the regular season. And it would be incredibly risky to roll with Darvish in the playoffs, who even when healthy hasn't shown he's deserving of a postseason roster spot. The Cubs do have options at starter in the minors like Duane Underwood or James Norwood, and despite his shortcomings, Tyler Chatwood is an option out of necessity now.  

Drew Smyly, who looked like a possibility as a late-season addition, is still not quite ready to come back and be an effective rotation piece at the moment. And with Mike Montgomery heading to the disabled list earlier this week, the Cubs were hopeful Darvish would be healthy by the time rosters expand in September. 

Luckily, Jon Lester, Cole Hamels, and Kyle Hendricks have all looked stellar recently and hopefully can continue their success on the mound as the Cubs continue to fight past injuries to maintain their grasp on the NL Central. 

But Theo Epstein said himself last week that if Darvish didn't perform well during his rehab stint, that was essentially his 2018 season. Don't expect to see Darvish returning to the mound until 2019, Cubs fans. 



Summer of Sammy: Sosa's 48th homer in 1998

Summer of Sammy: Sosa's 48th homer in 1998

It's the 20th anniversary of the Summer of Sammy, when Sosa and Mark McGwire went toe-to-toe in one of the most exciting seasons in American sports history chasing after Roger Maris' home run record. All year, we're going to go homer-by-homer on Sosa's 66 longballs, with highlights and info about each. Enjoy.

Sosa's 48th homer of the season came off of the St. Louis Cardinals on August 19, 1998, in a 6-8 loss.

With two-outs, Sosa sent a deep shot off of Kent Bottenfield.

The home run was even more special for Sosa, due to it coming against the Cardinals and Mark McGwire, his home run adversary for the year. 

In the game Sosa went 2-for-4 with two RBI, the exact same stat line McGwire finished with.