Schwarber adds right field to defensive options

Schwarber adds right field to defensive options

MILWAUKEE -- Kyle Schwarber made his first start in right field Friday night, part of Cubs manager Joe Maddon's plan to see all of the options available for Wednesday's National League Wild Card Game presented by Budweiser against the Pirates.

"I wanted to see what it looked like," Maddon said of Schwarber, who has started in left field and at catcher.

Schwarber has handled left field just fine, and even made some impressive catches at Wrigley Field.

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"He's done fine," Maddon said of the rookie. "The whole point is to maximize what we're able to do at any one particular moment. I don't want to throw guys in a situation without giving them some kind of work in advance."

Maddon was presented with some statistical breakdowns on Friday regarding the Pirates, and said he'll likely meet with Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein on Sunday to go over the roster. Teams don't need to finalize their Wild Card roster until early Wednesday.

"The fact is we have options -- it's not like, 'You've got to do it this way,'" Maddon said. "You're seeing that now, you're seeing us play well with guys all over the place."

Worth noting

• The Cubs are relying on rookies such as Schwarber, Kris Bryant and Addison Russell. Does their youth help them avoid feeling any pressure regarding the franchise's long World Series drought?

"Cubs history is wonderful," Maddon said. "The tradition of being a Chicago Cub is outstanding, and I'm talking about the players and the ballpark and the city and all of the lure that's attached to that. Superstition, for me, there's no place for it in Cubs history or tradition. If you choose to vibrate there, that's your concern.

"Our guys, for me, it's about playing winning baseball every night and that's it," he said. "I don't want them to get caught up in stuff that doesn't matter. I want them more process-oriented than outcome-oriented. If you focus on today, that other stuff should not matter."

Jason Motte, on the disabled list with a right shoulder strain, threw in the bullpen for the second time this week and second time since going on the DL. There is still a chance the right-hander could contribute if the Cubs advance in the postseason.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.