— AP Sports (@AP_Sports) April 8, 2016
Some years that’s it. The slugging left fielder goes down, and three games into the season, we know. Cubs fans know. That’ll do it. Toast.
Shockingly, that wasn’t the reaction when Kyle Schwarber went down with a season-ending knee injury. Fans and pundits alike thought that the Cubs could weather this first big challenge.
There’s Jorge Soler and maybe even Matt Szczur to plug the hole in left. Super utility man Javier Baez is starting a rehab assignment. Miguel Montero will catch more, and then there’s always Wilson Contreras in Iowa.
After suffering through the Nate Schierholtz years, the current Cubs have this crazy thing called depth. Talented depth. They also have the prospects to make a bigger move if it’s warranted.
The front office should be applauded for not backing themselves into a corner in which Schwarber’s injury creates a major deficit. Theo Epstein and Co. didn’t feel the need to deal Soler to the Indians or any number of other teams to get a starter. They wanted to see what they had first. They also pulled off a major coup in bringing back Dexter Fowler after his failed courtship by the Orioles.
They signed Jason Heyward to play center between Schwarber and Soler, but he’s a better right fielder. Now, everyone settles into their best defensive position.
Of course I had just written about managing my lofty expectations for this Cubs team, and then Schwarber went down. Some other challenge will undoubtedly pop up. But we’re far from grabbing a fifth of SoCo and going to cry in the basement.
Even Schwarber knows that this Cubs team is still formidable.
Thank you all for the encouragement. This is a test of character and plan to attack it head on. This team is special and fun to watch! #Cubs
— Kyle Schwarber (@kschwarb12) April 9, 2016
Like Kyle, we can still sit back and enjoy the show.