#Cubs lineup: Schwarber to catch

Lefty Clayton Richard will be on the mound and rookie Kyle Schwarber behind the plate as the Cubs open a three-day series in Cincinnati against the Reds. Manager Joe Maddon said expect to see Schwarber behind the plate for three of the  four games the Cubs will play in the next three days. They have a day/night doubleheader on Wednesday at Great American Ball Park.

Here’s Monday’s lineup:

Fowler CF

Schwarber C

Bryant 3B

Rizzo 1B

Soler RF

Coghlan LF

Castro SS

Richard P

Russell 2B


Kyle has played very well so far this season – looking to see more good things from him to come hopefully.

Aloha Folks, I know this is not today’s lineup but will have to say it was a good move to have Schwarber catching today! Hammel only had 1 earned run and the team had other chances to bring in runs but this is a neat sign of things to come that they could tie the game (Coghlan’s hr), then lose the lead, tie it again and then go ahead. Nice home coming for Kyle! Mahalo!

This lead in should have included `Schwarber can hit,` as he`s the principal reason we won this game. Let`s find young men who can play shortstop, left field, and centerfield, who can provide offense similar to that of Kyle Schwarber, and we`ll know we are well on our way to becoming legit major league contenders for the championship. Did I mention Kyle Schwarber is an impressive young baseball player?,

Aloha jhosk- yes he is. And the way he fought the count in the 9th inning was amazing! That is what I would love to see from the rest of the team. He kept fighting off the pitches, hanging in there until he got a pitch he could drive and boy did he make it look easy. I really hope Rizzo-Bryant can break out of their droughts. Soler and Russell have looked better. Today is a big day and a good gauge as to where this team will be in come September. Take care now. Mahalo!

Aloha jhosk- well, just got back from an A’s game. Had to do some “free-scouting,” wanted to see Zobrist because there is talk about teams wanting him before the deadline. Also, I got to see a former Cubs pitcher: Doubront. He started off well but then the A’s got to him for 3 runs, he was out after 5 innings. Fun to watch Martin behind the plate and he got a base hit. We left with the score 3-2 A’s. I noticed the Cubs are off tomorrow and thank goodness so are the Giants because they are only .5 game behind! They are 8-2 in their last 10 games and Cain pitched well tonight in their 7-1 romp (though the runs came late in the game). They could be surging at the right time. The Cubs need to make a move and soon, especially against these upcoming last place teams. They have 8 games til the end of this month. The Giants have 7 games. The Cubs have the Phillies and Rockies at home and them dreaded Brewers on the road. The Giants have the A’s & Brewers at home and Texas on the road. The Cubs are 5-5 in their last 10 games, all against teams under .500. These next games are huge because depending on how they go could also dictate what kind of trades the FO does before the 31st. This next week is going to be exciting. Take care now. Mahalo!

I agree k.g. the 5-5 record with these teams is not indicative of a dominant team going after a wild card spot. The Cubs are using smoke, mirrors and luck (i.e Tea Garden hitting Chapman??? Come on….) to eke out most of their recent games and I am afraid they are no match for the Giant’s during the wild card pursuit. I think the wild card is now in the hands of Theo should he decide to add a very good starting pitcher to solidify the rotation and an outfield bat that can consistently hit, put the ball in play etc. in order to drive in the elusive ONE or TWO runs that seem to be so hard to come by in the close losses we have suffered of late. This would not have been needed if Bryant, Rizzo and Russell could have avoided their recent tailspins. All good, solid players but all 3 going through a minor slump at the same time is tough to deal with. And the aforementioned three players’ slumps would be a moot point if Castro wasn’t so…
God awful BAD this year. If two of those four players can get hot NOW it may reduce the need to add a bat but we cannot count on Castro and Russell seems to be at a steady yet slower pace with his offense. So that means we need help from a corner outfield position widely accepted as a run producing position and with Soler still getting his “groove” back that leaves LF…and we are nowhere near the run production we should be from that spot. I heard on the radio this morning the Cubs are talking to Detroit about David Price?!?!?!?!!!! What a pick up that would be especially if he signs for a long term deal. Still need an outfield bat!!!

Aloha fonzie, wow a David Price! I wonder what the FO would have to give up for that short rental? Of course Maddon knows him well. It is tough that the team is having to look at pitchers with really low era’s right now because as you say, the offense is not there. It is like every game is a nail-biter. I was glad to see Bryant come through in that PH appearance last night. It would be great for 1 or 2 folks to catch on fire so that it can become contagious. You may already know this, Detroit is in contending in the WC hunt as well, albeit a weaker position right now, compared to the Cubs. I am sure this one day off is a good thing for the team so they can regroup and prepare for tomorrow. Take care now. Mahalo.

Yes, k.g., you are fortunate to be close to major league ballparks. I see the A`s won that game in the 10th on an Ike Davis infield hit. You got to see one of the game`s best starters, Sonny Gray. Speaking of starters, it looks as if the Padres are willing to make James Shields available. But teams are reticent to consider him, I`ve heard, as his numbers are not that impressive recently, especially on the road. It is most likely `Big Game James` will stay put with the Friars. There was much discussion on here over the winter as to if the Cubs should pursue the free agent at the time, as you well know. I absolutely agree the Cubs are deserving of this day off. The pen especially needs a `breather,` and some position players need time to regroup and reflect, and refocus.

it would be a shame to see Schwarber lose his ML roster spot due to the importance that the FO puts on having Ross as an active PLAYER so Lester can have him as a personal catcher. I hope the FO realizes the importance of having Schwarber’s bat in the lineup trumps the importance of Ross catching Lester. A nice scenario would be to allow Schwarber to remain with the team getting the majority of starts at catcher (learning on the job just like Russell and Bryant) as his offense will more than make up for his inexperience and any deficiencies behind the plate and having Montero be the #2 catcher with some time at catcher and maybe spelling Rizzo at 1b on some occasions, have a heart to heart with Ross and then….let him go….giving him the option to remain as a coach, his most valuable role. It is really time for the Cubs to realize offense is hard to come by and Ross taking a spot makes it even more obvious. Imagine last night’s game with Ross behind the plate???? Look at the lack of run support for Lester? Do they not see the irony of having Ross catch Lester only to wind up with little offense during every one of those starts? Both Lester and Ross CANNOT HIT….leaving the oponent facing a lineup of 7 possible hitters….the Lester/Ross combo is not working out as envisioned, just like Edwin Jackson’s performance. If the Jackson experiment can be deemed a failure, so too can the Lester/Ross experiment and it should be dealt with before a play off spot eludes this team.

I believe that the leadership of Ross this year, will be instilled in players for years to come. I also believe he has been very valuable in ways that are not noticed watching a game. Glad they signed him and hope he is back next year.

Aloha fonzie- I know as fan such as yourself, it can be hard at times to watch…a young team going through growing pains. I have to agree with Jasper on this, in that Ross’ leadership-mentorship of the younger players will have a positive effect for years to come. Yes he does not have the bat but let me play the contrarian side for a moment: Let us just say that the team was producing offensively, somewhere in the middle of the pack or a little higher against all other teams. This would mean that with a little more run production the team could absorb errors (translated unearned runs), lead-off walks, hits, passed balls, wild pitches, hitters striking out-hitting into double plays, going through slumps. That is a lot but what I am saying is that if the team were doing much better in the offense department I do not think we would all be as concerned about where Ross is today. Not making an excuse for him, players making errors, pitchers walking lead-off batters. But I think you can see the argument I am trying to paint and that is the “room-for-error” is very little with this team at this time. The starters (and for all the drama via injuries, pitchers moved to the bp, etc..) for this team during the past couple of weeks have really pitched well. Better than most of the other teams but with no offense it is like the staff would have to pitch shut-outs/no-no’s every outing and that is just not realistic. I and others spent a lot of time last season discussing the importance of a good backstop. The team tried to get Martin but he cost too much so they went to plan b with Montero/Castillo/Ross. I was hoping that Ross could have helped Castillo grow plus help both Montero and Castillo learn how to better manage and young pitching staff. Then at some point transition to a Castillo/Schwarber tandem. Well that is not happening so at some point it will be a Montero/Schwarber combo and Ross will be coaching. I am reluctant for the FO to make a big trade unless it really benefits this team going into the future (no expensive short-term rentals) because I can see a lot of positives going into next year (maturity, time under the belt-experience). I am not saying that I would not like for them to make the playoffs but building a team and organization almost from scratch takes some time. I have to tell myself this all the time. Take care now and hang in. Mahalo!

Big thumbs up on that post K. g.

Of course I see the value Ross brings to this young team and do not dispute that. I see that value as better served as a coach and not an active player and I say that because this team has a legitimate chance to garner a wild card spot THIS SEASON and my point is “all hands on deck” meaning we will need available PRODUCTIVE on field performances from the starters as well as the bench and Ross, although very integral to the maturation or this young team is no doubt handicapping the on field offensive play when he does start for Lester (I can say that about every one of Castro’s starts and am all for an upgrade at SS as well but Castro is not as bad an offensive player as the abysmal offensive Ross. Let’s face it Ross’ offensive is near non-existent), in effect having two non-threats and near automatic outs in the line up on those days not to mention the limited options and strategy Maddon is left with when Ross rides the bench. Pinch hitter? No. Pinch bunter? Maybe. Pinch runner? No. So, I see your point k.g. and I see what Ross brings to the team but my comment was regarding fitting Schwarber in….so I simply ask you, k.g….would It not be a shame to see Schwarber lose his ML roster spot due to the importance that the FO puts on having Ross as an active PLAYER so Lester can have him as a personal catcher?

Oh, k.g. I forgot…congrats on the big thumbs up from Jasper! Hang that one on your wall?

fonzie, are you really serious? You cant really be that defensive when someone disagrees with your opinion, really?
Ross was supposed to be the backup Catcher, Montero gets injured. Schwarber (no mention of sending him down ) great prospect, but needs more work behind the plate.
If Lester & Arietta prefer the VET behind the plate, whats wrong with that? If not for their two wins against the Braves last week, that would have been an awful road trip.

I love you Jasper!! We are just having a good time on this blog and I just loooooved your big thumbs up seal of approval!!! I might add that Ross was NOT brought in to be nor supposed to be the back up catcher. He was brought in to specifically catch Lester…for every start. And I think that is a little too much of a reach in order to seal the deal with Lester. A back up catcher would be used quite differently, this is a unique situation created by Theo/Lester. I am not saying it is all bad, certainly not if you have seen some of my previous comments admitting the value of Ross. I am saying and will remain adamant that Ross is a feeble offensive player with very limited physical attributes that can help the team win a game. His non physical attributes may very well help the team win but certainly not at the same pace as a player with Schwarber’s skill. It will remain a shame if the club loses regular playing time from Schwarber due to the roster spot Ross occupies. As the Hall Of Famer and much respected Peter Gammons has commented on of late, after spending some time with Schwarber and watching him play he has concluded that Schwarber is a remarkably athletic player with great offensive skills and even a better attitude about becoming a better defensive player. All this was in the kid before he even met Ross. Ross can probably help Schwarber become a better catcher more than Ross can help Lester get a victory. Have a great one Jasper!!

Aloha fonzie- I think you and others here bring up very good points. If you remember I had made a comment about EJax, who I have been very critical of (not disparaging just critical) and him being let go. You and jhosk made a point(s) that I thought was valid. I know you are frustrated with Ross and the idea that it “seems” like he is just there as a personal catcher to one main pitcher. I too wish his bat were at least “average,” but his defense, pitch framing and ability to still keep runners in check is above average. I am with you as I want Schwarber to be the catcher of the future and I like his spirit that he wants folks to know him as a catcher first! But the young man is not there yet. I know you would like for this team to make the playoffs too and because the offense is in a slump, Schwarber’s bat is a breath of fresh air. There are two months left in the season. I do not think it hurts him if Montero comes back and he is sent down to AAA. But I will say this, if this team makes it to the playoffs they configure the roster and I could see Schwarber on it. Lastly, my point about all of this in regard to Ross was that if this team were offensively producing, the discussion would be a mute point. But because they are not and every game is tight, then all aspects of their game is “magnified” including those who are not hitting, those whose defense has cost games, those pitching who are not holding the line and so forth. Hang in there. Mahalo!

Yes, k,g. myself and jhosk do indeed bring up valid points just as you and Jasper do as well. Ross’ defense, pitch framing and ability to still keep runners in check is above average, yet…for the once in every 5 starts for Lester only?? ….so Ross’ defensive talents are not enough to offset his less than Barney-like (for those of you who need help putting Ross’s poor offense in perspective, and Barney was a Gold Glover, Ross cannot claim such a defensive honor???) offensive skills. Of course this current lack of team offense magnifies and exposes player’s lack of offensive skills, such is the case with Castro too. If Bryant and Rizzo were hitting like the Bryce Harper or Mike Trout some thought them to be all this would be moot. But the two of them are not near the status of Harper and Trout…not yet, and maybe they never will be. But back to my simple comment that to lose Schwarber’s bat for the sake of keeping what Ross DOES bring to the team would be a shame. Simply put Ross’s value vs. Schwarber’s value during this season of offensive apathy and during a playoff push should not be in question in my opinion.
Losing Schwarber because of Ross….you are ok with that k.g.???

Forgive me, but I do not comprehend this notion that Schwarber could be sent down once Montero returns. That does not `compute.` Cubs` fans would have every right to `mutiny` were that scenario to transpire.

jhosk, rumors on other sites have Schwarber sticking with the club, playing LF as well as Catching. Schwarber wants to catch, brass understands that, loves his attitude and also understand his bat as is valuable and would like him to continue learning.
So keeping him will allow him to work closely with Ross, Teagarden, Montero and whoever else can assist.
I love this Management.

Nothing to forgive jhosk, many may share your sentiment. Upon the return of Montero the Cubs will find themselves in yet another 3 catcher predicament only worse because if Montero does the bulk of the catching that would reduce Schwarber’s ABs. If Schwarber is relegated to LF when Montero is catching that goes against what we have been hearing about him being primarily a catcher…so is Montero shopped to other teams post trade deadline? That seems unlikely. Is Ross cut? That seems unlikely considering the attachment he has with both Theo and Lester. Is Schwarber sent down so the bench can be more versatile? Yikes. I think Ross was brought in under the assumption he would NOT be in the way for two years while the youngsters mature and learn with of course Ross’ help. However, I think there is a little backfire with that plan because the club is playing better than expected and is actually within reach of a playoff spot THIS SEASON. Ooops… now it seems Ross somewhat interferes with a proper, versatile and viable roster/bench limiting Maddon’s maneuverability regardless of how “valuable” Ross is to the youngins’ development. I would rather take my chances with a better, versatile and stronger roster for this playoff push rather than Ross’ subtle guidance as a PLAYER.
These rookies got to the major leagues based on their hard work and talent, without Ross in their lives. That is why I still think to this day the Lester signing was THE first objective for bringing Ross aboard, his baseball acumen was second, most welcome of course but not vital to the team, vital to Lester….

Ross is valuable!!!
He is not taking Schwarbers spot.
Why cant Teagarden get sent down, when Montero comes back?
Its hard coming on here trying to discuss anything with a blind idiot.
See you all in another month or so.

Why must you resort to name calling Jasper? Certainly Teagarden will be sent down that does not open up valuable AB’s for Schwarber the catcher. It is still a dilemma to find Schwarber AB’s with both Montero and Ross being catchers too. I even stated that you bring valid points (above), I suppose if dealing with such a person as yourself Jasper I will no longer waste my time with such pleasantries. Your colors show through with your comments for all to see. No call for the blind idiot comment, really unnecessary. BTW way, Ross is valuable, just not as a hitter, a pinch hitter, a pinch runner….Don’t hurry back…take a few months….

Aloha jhosk, yes Cubs fans would be sad indeed. I was just making again a contrarian point that it would not be the end of the world for this season if Schwarber went back down. That being said, I am glad that Jasper reminded me that there is Teagarden too, so most likely when Montero comes back he will be moved. Didn’t Greg Maddux have a different catcher? Yes, Maddux was also effective as a hitter and could bunt well. fonzie, I can understand where you are coming from and in a more normal setting, for example the Giants Posey is given days off behind the plate, the same could happen with this team. Again if hitting were not an issue, Montero gets his 4-5th day off. I do not believe the FO is going to do anything this season with Ross but Jasper’s mentioning of Teagarden being moved does present one option. I think Schwarber is here to stay, he gives Maddon options which is great. Well everyone, hang in there as there are still “bumpy-roads” ahead. Happy Aloha Friday!

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