White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu is likely to rejoin the team on Monday, ESPN Chicago’s Doug Padilla reports. The slugger has been on the disabled list since May 18 with posterior tibia tendinitis in his left ankle, and recently discarded his walking boot to resume baseball activities.
Prior to going on the DL, Abreu was the major league leader in home runs and RBI with 15 and 42, respectively, in his team’s first 45 games. When he returns, he’ll be looking to improve upon his impressive .260/.312/.595 slash line.
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.