Kyle Schwarber is on a “mission to transform his body”

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Jesse Rogers of ESPN.com hears that Kyle Schwarber “has been on a mission this offseason to transform his body.”

Schwarber is only 24, but the former catcher turned outfielder may very well be on the express train to DH-ville unless he shows the Cubs that he can be a regular defender. And the Cubs — who may very well look to trade Schwarber in 2018 — will likely want to show potential trade partners that he can play defense too, so as not to limit his market.

Above all else Schwarber needs to show everyone that he can be a more consistent hitter. His terribly slow start in 2017 caused him to be demoted to the minors for a time, though he hit much better once he was recalled. If conditioning helps that, all the better.

Houston’s Yordan Alvarez leaves game with ankle discomfort

Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports
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HOUSTON — Houston slugger Yordan Alvarez left the Astros’ game against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the fifth inning with left ankle discomfort.

Alvarez, who is tied for second in the American League with 37 home runs, rolled his ankle running out of the box on a single in the first inning.

He looked to be in some pain as he jogged to first base and was checked on briefly by manager Dusty Baker and a trainer before remaining in the game. Serving as the designated hitter, he struck out in the third inning before being replaced by pinch-hitter David Hensley for his at-bat in the fifth.