Schwarber to bat 2nd for #Cubs vs Braves

Kyle Schwarber will make his first start at catcher in the big leagues Friday when the Cubs open the second half against the Braves. Kyle Hendricks gets the start. Here’s the lineup:

Fowler CF

Schwarber C

Bryant 3B

Rizzo 1B

Soler RF

Coghlan LF

Castro SS

Hendricks P

Russell 2B

* Hendricks enters the game with a 22 1/3 inning scoreless streak, dating to the fourth inning, June 24 vs. the Dodgers. It’s the longest scoreless streak by a Cubs pitcher since Ryan Dempster’s 33-inning run in June-July of 2012. It’s the second-
longest active scoreless innings streak, trailing the Dodgers Zack Greinke’s 35 2/3 scoreless innings stretch.

Hendricks’ 22 1/3-inning scoreless streak is the longest by a Cubs pitcher age 25 or younger since Greg Maddux had 25 2/3 scoreless innings in 1990.

Hendricks is one of three big league pitchers this season to sport a 3.55 ERA or better with four or fewer victories in at
least 17 starts, joining the Indians’ Corey Kluber (4-10, 3.38 ERA) and the Orioles’ Wei-Yin Chen (4-5, 2.78).

* Schwarber does have one inning as a catcher in the big leagues when he subbed June 16.

* Here are the pitching matchups for the series at Turner Field:

Friday: RHP Kyle Hendricks (4-4, 3.55) vs. RHP Julio Teheran (6-4, 4.56)
Saturday: LHP Jon Lester (4-8, 3.59) vs. LHP Manny Banuelos (1-0, 0.75)
Sunday: RHP Jake Arrieta (10-5, 2.66) vs. RHP Shelby Miller (5-5, 2.38)


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Wow…I know that there is “talk” of Schwarber being less than ready to catch at the big league level and that may be true but still knowing that I can’t help but feel very excited to finally see the catcher spot manned by an offensive threat. Not that Montero was a weak link, not at all but he hasn’t been the offensive hitting threat I hoped he would be. A good pick up for sure and an obvious improvement over Castillo…but bring on Schwarber. If the kid is going to get a trial by fire it might as well
be at the position the organization hopes he will play for a long time. It’s a tricky spot for the Cubs sacrificing Ross’s superior defense and experience for Schwarber’s bat…I’m glad they are doing it, if he is good or bad behind the plate I think this kid will get better for the experience. Still think he will see some LF action when Ross or Teacup catches.

Aloha fonzie- thought Schwarber was good behind the plate. Of course this is going to take time and at some point the FO and Madden have to figure out how far this team is going to go or not. I think if the team falls out of contention one could make the argument that you use Schwarber all the time so that he gets more time behind the plate at this level going into next season. If the team is in contention and games are tight, then you need a good framer-defender behind the plate as you say, what are stuck with Ross/Teacup until Montero can get back. Schwarber looked good at the plate, one of the few highlights from tonight’s game. Mahalo!

Aloha Folks- This was a tough lost on many levels. The first inning with runners on base, cannot score. Bad base running also hurt in the opening innings. All things we hope will right themselves as the younger players get in more “pt,” as they say. Strop though was hard to watch. He seemed aloof and his head not in the game. I know it is not easy to be a pitcher on this current team because the run support is so low at the moment but your job as middle relief-setup man-closer is to hold the line. The Cubs have enough hard throwers on this team. I thought Rondon did a good job in the 7th and wondered why he could not have gone or started the 8th. With bases loaded after walking his second batter (the first batter AJ was intentionally walked) to load up the bases, he just thinks he is going to throw hard and get the batter out, it did not even seem like he understood the concept of setting up the batter. Then after the batter hits him hard to RF for a double, you know there is going to be play at the plate, the pitcher is supposed to backup the catcher. Did Strop backup Schwarber? No. You might say, “well k.g the runner was going to be safe anyway..” That is not the point, fundamentals are if Strop’s head were in the game, he would know with a hit to right field, runners trying to score, “I need to get my rear-end behind Schwarber to back him up.” I am not sure what they are going to do before the deadline but could see a trade that not only includes some position players but pitchers as well. I hope tomorrow is a better result. Mahalo.

Do you repeat everything the announcers say?

Aloha Petrey, no I do not. You played the game too. It is called fundamentals. I watch the players, their reactions and Strop’s gave me concerns. So do you think Schwarber stays up now or goes back down when Montero comes back? Who do you think might get traded? Mahalo.

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