CLEVELAND (AP) — Kyle Schwarber was added to the Chicago Cubs’ World Series roster and immediately inserted into the starting lineup for Tuesday night’s opener against the Cleveland Indians.
The 23-year-old outfielder was batting fifth as the designated hitter. He replaced left-handed pitcher Rob Zastryzny on the 25-man roster announced 10 hours before Game 1.
Schwarber was playing left field at Arizona on April 7 when he collided with center fielder Dexter Fowler and tumbled on a ball that became an inside-the-park home run for Jean Segura. Dallas Cowboys orthopedic surgeon Dr. Daniel Cooper operated 12 days later to repair torn anterior cruciate and lateral collateral ligaments.
Schwarber was expected to miss the rest of 2016 following the knee surgery but was cleared medically on Oct. 17 to return. He played a pair of games in the Arizona Fall League, going 1 for 6 with a double and two walks, and flew to Cleveland on Monday.
As a rookie, Schwarber hit .246 with 16 homers and 43 RBIs in 71 games.
Cleveland also made one roster change, including All-Star Danny Salazar in place of Cody Anderson in a swap of right-handed pitchers.
Salazar, 11-6 with a 3.87 ERA in 25 starts, hasn’t appeared in a game since Sept. 9 because of tightness in his right forearm. He pitched a simulated game Sunday.
“He threw three innings and under those circumstances, it’s not the easiest to probably reach your best velocity, but he was getting after it pretty good,” manager Terry Francona said Monday.
Corey Kluber starts the opener and Trevor Bauer in Game 2 – as long as his stitched-up pinkie is OK following a drone injury. Josh Tomlin will start Game 3 and Salazar or rookie left-hander Ryan Merritt in Game 4. Merritt shut out Toronto for 4 1/3 innings in the decisive Game 5 of the AL Championship Series.