Manny Navarro of the Miami Herald reports that Marlins infielder Rafael Furcal is suffering from tightness in his right groin. He had been rehabbing in the minor leagues, and the club hopes the setback is minor enough that he can resume his rehab on Sunday.
Furcal, 36, was already rehabbing from a strained left hamstring, so a new injury on the other side of his lower half is not welcome news to the Marlins, who signed Furcal to a one-year, $3.5 million deal in December. The plan was for Furcal to play second base everyday, but the Marlins have done fine without him. Derek Dietrich enters Saturday with a 1.004 OPS in 48 plate appearances.
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.