Joe Maddon: Kyle Schwarber stays when Miguel Montero returns

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Cubs catcher Miguel Montero, dealing with a sprained left thumb, will begin a rehab assignment with Double-A Tennessee on Sunday, ESPN’s Jesse Rogers reports. Montero has been out of action since July 11 with the thumb injury, but could make a return in mid-August.

Montero’s impending return has led to the inevitable question about rookie catcher Kyle Schwarber: what will the Cubs do with him? Maddon said that Schwarber will remain in the big leagues once Montero returns, per Rogers. Schwarber, the Cubs’ first-round pick (fourth overall) in last year’s draft, has burst onto the scene with a .323/.405/.523 triple-slash line with three home runs and 12 RBI. He was initially called up to serve as a DH in back-to-back interleague series, but has handled catching duties with David Ross in Montero’s absence.

Montero, 32, has hit .230/.337/.392 with 10 home runs and 32 RBI this season. Ross has hit .184/.298/.286 and might be the odd man out if the Cubs don’t want to fit three catchers on their roster.

Pete Alonso sets new NL rookie record with 40th home run

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With a ninth-inning solo home run off of Royals pitcher Jacob Barnes on Sunday, Mets first baseman Pete Alonso set a new National League rookie record for home runs in a single season. He now has 40 with 36 games left in the regular season.

Cody Bellinger, currently the home run leader with 42, hit 39 home runs in his rookie season in 2017, holding the record until today. The major league record is 52, set by the Yankees’ Aaron Judge also in 2017. Judge had broken Mark McGwire’s record of 49 hit in 1987.

Alonso went 3-for-4 with a walk, an RBI double, and three runs scored along with the homer. He’s now batting .271 with a .979 OPS with 40 homers and 95 RBI on the season.

With their 11-5 win over the Royals, the Mets improved to 64-60. They have the same exact record as the Phillies and Brewers, sitting 1.5 games out of the second Wild Card.