#Cubs Schwarber delivers in win
In an attempt to find more offense, manager Joe Maddon plans on keeping rookie Kyle Schwarber in the lineup. That meant Starlin Castro had to sit on Friday.
It worked against the Giants as Schwarber delivered a tie-breaking two-run single in a five-run fifth in the Cubs’ 7-3 victory. The rookie now has a five-game hit streak (8-for-19) and has an extra-base hit in each game.
To keep Schwarber in the mix when he’s not catching, he’ll be in left field, and that created a domino effect on Friday. With Schwarber in left, outfielder Chris Coghlan moved to second base, Addison Russell switched from second to short, and Castro was on the bench.
Maddon emphasized the move was not “punitive” and said Castro took the news well. If Castro was hitting, would Maddon have made this move?
“Probably not,” Maddon said. “If he was playing his normal offensive game, you probably don’t do something like this.”
Asked about Maddon’s efforts to keep him in the lineup, Schwarber smiled.
“It’s a nice compliment,” Schwarber said.
Maddon had talked with Theo Epstein about the moves, and met with Castro prior to posting Friday’s lineup.
“This isn’t a permanent benching,” Epstein said. “It’s just a recognition of where we are in the standings, how many good options we have with the players we have returning now, and it’s a nod to Joe’s ability to push the right buttons and put the best lineup on the field any given night.”
With Miguel Montero back from the disabled list, Schwarber’s time behind the plate will be limited.
“At the end of the day, it’s about the Cubs winning,” Maddon said. “Schwarber is the impetus regarding this manuever, more than Starlin. We have to include Kyle right now. You’ve got to include [Coghlan], based on performance and our lack of offense.”
— Carrie Muskat