Chicago’s bullpen is in flux after the White Sox reversed their decision to make Chris Sale a closer, but the relief corps gets a boost today with Jesse Crain coming off the disabled list.
Crain has been out since April 21 with a strained oblique muscle, but was pitching well before getting hurt and made a pair of scoreless minor-league rehab appearances over the weekend.
He’ll likely be worked back into the bullpen mix slowly, but if rookie Addison Reed struggles it wouldn’t be shocking to see manager Robin Ventura give Crain a look in the ninth inning at some point.
As is offseason tradition, the first of player-shape reports are trickling in. These usually use some variation of the phrase “best shape of [my/his] life.” This one, though, avoids that at least.
According to ESPN’s Jesse Rogers, Cubs outfielder Kyle Schwarber has lost 17-20 pounds so far this offseason. Schwarber said that he’s “already big and strong,” so “might as well try to get more explosive, faster.”
Though Schwarber knocked out 30 home runs this past season, his numbers were otherwise pedestrian. He hit .211/.315/.467 with 59 RBI and 67 runs scored in 486 plate appearances.
There has been some speculation that the Cubs will try to trade Schwarber to an American League team where he can be a DH. He’s a subpar defender, so making him a full-time DH makes a lot of sense. So far, though, the only team that has been linked to Schwarber this offseason has been the Red Sox.