Scott Podsednik made his spring debut against the Yankees yesterday, finishing 0-for-1 with two walks and a stolen base. He told Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com that his left foot wasn’t completely pain-free, but said that he was to the point where he could “go out there and play.”
Chisholm reports this morning that Podsednik was scratched from Saturday’s lineup due to more problems with plantar fasciitis in his foot.
Podsednik was shut down last September due to plantar fasciitis and got off to a late start in Jays’ camp after receiving a cortistone injection. The veteran outfielder settled for a minor league contract with the Blue Jays last month after turning down a $2 million mutual option with the Dodgers in November. He isn’t assured of a roster spot and another extended absence certainly won’t help his cause.
Joe Maddon just held his annual media availability here at the Winter Meetings. During the scrum he said that Kyle Schwarber “looked great the other day” at a Cubs community event and that . . . wait for it . . . “he’s in, probably, arguably in the best shape of his life.” Maddon went on to say that, if Schwarber looks good in spring training, he might even be the Cubs leadoff hitter in 2018.
Schwarber is only 24, but the former catcher turned outfielder is going to spend most of his career as a DH, with another team obviously, unless he shows the Cubs that he can be a regular defender. The Cubs would love to see him in better shape whether they keep him or shop him, and if it’s the latter, they’ll want to show potential trade partners that he can play defense so as not to limit his market. It’s in everyone’s interests for him to be lean, mean and a bit more flexible once spring training starts.
To that end, according to a recent report, Schwarber “has been on a mission this offseason to transform his body.” And now Maddon is playing up the BSOHL angle. Whether that’s salesmanship or not, all eyes are going to be on Schwarber come February.