Kyle Schwarber is a supreme talent with a stick in his hand at the plate.
But in the outfield? A different story.
How not to play defense in the outfield, brought to you by Kyle Schwarber. pic.twitter.com/lED9EXjrer
— Josh Poloha (@JorshP) October 9, 2017
— Aldo Soto (@AldoSoto21) March 6, 2017
In an effort to improve his glove work, the Chicago Cubs slugger spent the offseason, among other things, loading the other kind of plate—the kind one approaches with a fork and not a bat—with a new diet.
Here’s what he used to look like.
And here’s what he looks like now.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) February 22, 2018
This is what incredible hard work and discipline looks like. Anyone want to bet on Kyle Schwarber not having a big season? I’ll take that bet. pic.twitter.com/IRruIjj6zE
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) February 23, 2018
He’s even stolen two bases this spring, off Buster Posey no less.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) February 25, 2018
The hope for Schwarber is that he’s improved his tools in the outfield, a position new to the former catcher when he entered the league, without sacrificing his prodigious power.
“Everyone is caught up in the weight-loss thing,” Schwarber told ESPN in December. “I’m not. I’m training my body for 162 games times nine innings or maybe more. I want to be an MVP. I want to be a Gold Glover. I want to set my standards really high. … I’m already a strong guy. The best thing to do now is to train to be more baseball-specific: get faster, get more explosive because I’m playing the outfield. I want better first steps to the ball. Instead of diving for that ball, I want to catch it on my chest. That’s the goal.”
Fellow residents of the NL Central had better hope that’s not the case.