Teammates rally behind Schwarber

Teammates rally behind Schwarber

PHOENIX -- It isn't just that the Cubs will miss Kyle Schwarber's powerful left-handed bat in the lineup. They're going to miss his ability to make everyone smile.

Schwarber found out Friday his season is over after three games because of torn a ACL and LCL in his left knee and a severely sprained left ankle suffered in a freak collision Thursday night with teammate Dexter Fowler.

"You lose a teammate, a family member, it stinks, and rightfully so," Cubs catcher David Ross said of Schwarber. "The guy's a big part of our team. You lose a guy like that and it's definitely upsetting.

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"He's going to be missed. There's no sugar-coating it. We love the guy. It's a sad day in the locker room. We'll mourn him for a minute and try to get ready for the Diamondbacks."

Schwarber had been scheduled to catch Friday night. He came to Spring Training prepared to catch and play the outfield, because the Cubs wanted to find some way to keep his left-handed bat in the lineup. When Schwarber was called up for Interleague games in June, he batted .364, and in August, smacked nine home runs in 26 games and helped propel the Cubs into the postseason.

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"A big part of our winning, a big part of our second half was because of him," Ross said. "He's one of those guys who plays hard every day. That's why he got hurt is because of the type of player he is."

"It's tough," Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo said of losing Schwarber. "You see Kyle work so hard this spring and come into camp in shape and prepared to catch and play the outfield and do anything, anything he was asked to do. He did it all and he was ready to break out and be a bigger star in the game."

Kris Bryant shifted from third base to left field after Schwarber was carted off the field Thursday.

"It's one of those freak accidents," Bryant said. "If you hit in the right spot with two guys going -- two big guys, too -- it never turns out good. We'll pick him up. We have some guys who can hopefully fill his place. He's a tough one to fill. He's a fun guy to be around. It's up to us to carry the load."

One of the most personable players on the Cubs, Schwarber's attitude will be hard to replace.

"This game is hard enough and it's good to have guys who put smiles on each other's faces, and he's one of those guys," Bryant said.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.