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.

Video: Jorge Soler launches first home run of spring training

Jorge Soler
Associated Press
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The Royals and Rangers played the first game of spring training today. A few other teams (the Red Sox, Tigers and Twins) played or are currently playing college squads, but Kansas City-Texas is our first matchup of big league teams. Baseball’s back, baby! And you know what baseball means?

Kansas City’s Jorge Soler, who hit 48 homers last year to lead the American League, offered us the year’s first glimpse at recreational baseball murder when he took Kolby Allard out over the left field yard.

Mmm. That’s the good stuff. Here’s to eight and a half months more of that. Bring me the dingers.

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