Kevin Correia made the All-Star team on the basis of his 11 first-half wins, but his 4.07 ERA was nothing special and not surprisingly the 30-year-old pitcher with a 4.57 career ERA coming into this season came crashing back down to earth after the break.
Correia is 1-4 with a 7.23 ERA in seven starts since the All-Star break, allowing opponents to hit .338 off him, and now he’s headed to the disabled list with a strained oblique muscle.
Recovery timetables can be difficult to project with oblique injuries, because they tend to linger and setbacks are always looming, but Correia figures to miss at least a few weeks. And if he can’t return in September at some point Correia will finish his “All-Star season” with a 12-11 record and 4.79 ERA.
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.