Cubs manager Joe Maddon says C/OF Kyle Schwarber is the frontrunner to bat leadoff for the team this season, CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney reports.
Schwarber, 23, has hit out of the leadoff spot only eight times in his young career, but the move up the batting order mostly just means more opportunities for him to swing his potent bat. He hit .246/.355/.487 with 16 home runs and 43 RBI in 273 plate appearances in his rookie season in 2015.
Schwarber suffered serious injuries early in the 2016 season when he collided with teammate Dexter Fowler in the Arizona outfield. He tore the anterior cruciate and lateral collateral ligaments, which everyone thought ended his 2016 season entirely. However, Schwarber returned for the start of the World Series against the Indians. In 20 plate appearances over five games, Schwarber contributed six singles, a double, and three walks.
The Rays announced on Tuesday that the club acquired outfielder Peter Bourjos from the White Sox in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations.
As all three starting outfield jobs in Tampa Bay are spoken for, Bourjos is looking at a bench role to open the 2017 regular season. Last season with the Phillies, Bourjos hit .251/.292/.389 with 20 doubles, 23 RBI, and 40 runs scored in 383 plate appearances. The bat is still weak, but he also still plays solid defense and runs the bases well.
The Reds claimed second baseman Scooter Gennett off waivers from the Brewers, C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer reported on Tuesday.
Gennett, who turns 27 years old on May 1, was expendable as the Brewers planned to use Jonathan Villar on an everyday basis at second base. He’ll provide infield depth in Cincinnati.
Over parts of four seasons in the majors, Gennett has hit .279/.318/.420 with 35 home runs and 160 RBI in 1,637 plate appearances.