Brian Roberts has suffered setbacks this winter

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Back in August Brian Roberts underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum in his hip. But there’s a bit of bad news, reports Britt Ghiroli of MLB.com:

Second baseman Brian Roberts has been working out, although Showalter said he wouldn’t be completely honest if he said that Roberts has had no health setbacks this winter.  There remains cautious optimism that he can stay healthy and help the club, but –as I’ve written before– there are contingency plans in place.

Hoping the setbacks have to do with the hip and not something to do with the multiple concussions that caused him to miss so much time over the past three years.  Either way, the poor guy seems to be snakebitten.

Kyle Schwarber is “probably, arguably” in The Best Shape of His Life

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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.