It was one of those nightmare moments in sports. In last night’s game at Chase Field in Phoenix, Jean Segura of the Arizona Diamondbacks smacked a hard fly ball near the wall in right center, about as far from the two outfielders closing on the ball as possible. Chicago Cubs rookie slugger Kyle Schwarber was hustling for the ball with his head down and somehow got tangled up with Dexter Fowler, who tried at the last moment to back away and play for the ball off the wall.
Earlier today, the Cubs announced that the young catcher/outfielder has torn both the ACL and LCL ligaments in his left leg, as well as severely spraining his ankle. Before he got a chance to hit a single home run, his season came to an abrupt and very painful end.
Almost punctuating it, Segura, who hit the ball that led to the injury, scampered around the bases for an inside-the-park home run. Schwarber lay for a good while on the warning track before managers and trainers managed to get him up and onto a cart. All day long journalists and fans have waited, hoping for better news than was eventually delivered.
Schwarber, coming off an amazing run last fall and a strong performance in spring training, was projected to catch for pitcher Jason Hammel and spend most of the rest of his games in left field to keep his powerful bat in the rotation.
The team has strong depth in the outfield and has called up utility infielder Munenori Kawasaki to fill out the roster. Schwarber will begin treatment immediately, but it would be extremely unlikely for him to make anything near a full recovery before the end of the season.
This is a disappointing moment for a young ballplayer, but if anyone has the fortitude and strength to bull through it and get back on the field, Schwarber, dubbed the “War Bear” by Cubs fans, is that guy.
The Cubs rallied after Segura’s home run to beat the Diamondbacks 14-6. You have to think that, in the back of their minds, they were playing harder for a fallen comrade.