LOS ANGELES: The Chicago Cubs have lost left fielder Kyle Schwarber for the rest of the 2016 season, just days into a Major League Baseball campaign in which they were tipped to end a century-long title drought.
The Cubs said that Schwarber tore two ligaments in his left knee and sprained his ankle in an outfield collision with center fielder Dexter Fowler as they chased a ball in a game against Arizona on Thursday night (Friday in Manila).
Fowler rammed into Schwarber’s legs and the 23-year-old crumpled to the warning track as Arizona’s Jean Segura circled the bases for an inside-the-park home run.
Schwarber knew there was a chance he was seriously injured when he met reporters after the game.
“Can’t get mad about playing hard and getting hurt,” Schwarber said. “Would rather play hard and get hurt than not play hard and not get hurt.”
Jorge Soler will start in left field against the Diamondbacks on Friday. Versatile Munenori Kawasaki was recalled from minor league affiliate Iowa to fill Schwarber’s roster spot.
“It’s obviously tough,” first baseman Anthony Rizzo said. “Talking to him, he was down. But it could be worse. A lot worse.”
Schwarber batted .246 with 16 homers and 43 RBIs in just 69 games last season and the Cubs averaged two runs a game more when he played than when he didn’t in 2015.