Sticking with Heyman, who reports that people in the Cubs’ organization expect Lou Piniella to retire at the end of the season.
This would shock me about as much as the sun coming up tomorrow morning. The Cubs are on the brink of a massive tear-down, one would assume, and given how weary Piniella has seemed at times this year, it doesn’t seem like he’d be up for that even if the Cubs asked him to come back.
Heyman says Ryne Sandberg is the top choice to replace Piniella. This is something many have said and it makes sense. Heyman thinks that Sandberg could maybe use a year or two as someone else’s bench coach, but I’m sure why that would be the case. It’s not like he hasn’t managed — he’s worked up the ladder in the minors — and it’s not like he doesn’t know his way around Wrigley Field or the Chicago media. Indeed, I can’t think of anyone who would be better prepared to just jump right in than Sandberg.
This is happening, people.
Earlier we heard Joe Maddon being non-committal about Kyle Schwarber joining the Cubs for the World Series. Now it seems pretty clear that the Cubs are committal indeed: Jon Morosi reports that Schwarber is en route to Cleveland from Arizona on a private jet and that he’s expected to DH in Game 1 tomorrow night.
Schwarber hasn’t played in a game that counted since April 7. His potent bat is could be a windfall for a Cubs team that didn’t have a game-changing option at DH in the American League park.
Schwarber lost the whole season due to a knee injury, but he hit .246/.355/.487 with 16 homers and 43 RBI in 69 games as a rookie in 2015. His big coming out party was in the playoffs, however, when he hit three homers in five postseason games while going 7-for-13 with two walks in five games.
Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that Indians First Baseman/DH Carlos Santana shagged some flyballs in left field during the Indians’ workout today.
Sure, why not? Santana has played one game in the outfield in his major league career and that was over four years ago, but the Indians will have to play in Chicago without the DH, meaning either losing Santana’s bat or that of Mike Napoli.
It would be up to Terry Francona to decide if that happens, but ultimately I don’t think he’ll make it real and, rather, will just forget about it, because Santana’s defense out there would in no way be smooth.
I’m sorry. I’m sick today and I’m on a lot of cold medicine.