Kyle Schwarber went down with a nasty knee injury April. Now that the Cubs have a chance to make the World Series, could Schwarber’s possible return help Chicago and his fantasy value for next season?
The Chicago Cubs are knocking on the door of advancing to the World Series. They are loaded with talent and it seems as though this team has the best shot of breaking the curse as any before them. It is pretty rare that a team could get this far into the season and possibly improve even more, but could the possible return of Kyle Schwarber do just that?
Kyle Schwarber is a huge piece for the Cubs moving forward, so to see him go down for basically the whole season in April, many thought the Cubs were doomed once again. Schwarber only played in two games this season after tearing both his ACL and LCL in an outfield collision in Arizona. It was a scary scene to watch, and served as a harsh reminder of just how fast a players season can drastically change.
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As Chicago plays later and later into October, there has always been this hope that Schwarber could possibly make it back to serve as the DH in the World Series. Those hopeful rumors were pure speculation, but the possibility was exciting to think about. But, news broke today that may actually turn these thoughts into a reality.
Schwarber was activated today from the 60-day DL, and was sent to the Arizona Fall League, where he is DHing. He is only four months removed from surgery, so he is well ahead of the schedule. The impact for the Cubs is clear. Getting one of their premier bats back for the World Series is basically the equivalent of making a postseason trade for one of the best sluggers in the game.
There were a lot of fantasy owners that were burnt by Schwarber this season, but the type of injury he suffered is beyond anyone’s control. He only appeared in two games, so 2016 is a lost year, and a campaign that lacks any substantive data.
The concerns with his fantasy are the same as they were after the 2015 season, will he hit LHP enough to be a weekly must start, and can cut down on his K. His power ranks among the best in the game, and a loaded Cubs lineup certainly buoys his counting stats. Playing time is still a concern, even though the Cubs will surely thin some of the OF logjam this offseason, but Schwarber was made untouchable at the deadline for a reason.
His improbable return this season does go a long way in easing some of the concerns owners had about him heading into 2017. He is not a OF by any means but the Cubs really do not have a choice but to stick him out there, so to see his rehab this far ahead, it is encouraging. By the time spring training rolls around in 2017, he should be ready to go in the field.
A ton of fantasy owners will be scared off by Schwarber based on him burning them in 2016, or cause of the concerns that still linger after the 2015 season, but owners should not overlook him. He is still a legitimate 40 HR/100 RBI candidate that will come at a discount in drafts next spring, so do not be afraid to take full advantage of that.