Wrigley roars for Schwarber's on-field intro

Slugger uses crutch to join teammates in home opener

Wrigley roars for Schwarber's on-field intro

CHICAGO -- Kyle Schwarber, out for the season after tearing two ligaments in his left knee, received a standing ovation Monday night when he joined his teammates on the field for pregame introductions, using one crutch to go from the dugout to home plate.

The Cubs played a short video of Schwarber's highlights from last season, his rookie year, and he was the last Cubs player introduced. Schwarber stood next to manager Joe Maddon near home plate for the singing of "God Bless America" and the national anthem before watching the Cubs rally for a 5-3 victory.

The 23-year-old outfielder tore his ACL and LCL ligaments and sprained his left ankle last Thursday in Arizona when he collided with teammate Dexter Fowler in left-center field. Schwarber was to be examined in Chicago by team orthopedic specialist Dr. Stephen Gryzlo. No date for surgery has been set, but it will be within the next three weeks.

• In his first rehab game with Triple-A Iowa on Monday night, Javier Baez went 1-for-3 with a home run. He started at third base, and the plan is for Baez to play some outfield and shortstop as well.

Baez jammed his left thumb sliding headfirst into first base March 16 in a Spring Training game. Maddon said Baez needs at least 20 at-bats before he will be activated from the disabled list.

Anthony Rizzo surprised his teammates and Cubs fans in his first at-bat in the second inning Monday night. Rizzo's used Starlin Castro's walk-up music, "Ando en la Versace" by Omega. At the end of last season, fans would clap along to the lively song.

"It was more to honor him, to be honest," said Rizzo, who wasn't sure if he'd keep the song for more than one at-bat. "Maybe I'll have to re-evaluate that because everyone went crazy. Maybe I'll do a Twitter poll."

Opening Night at Wrigley Field

Castro was traded last December to the Yankees for pitcher Adam Warren.

"He's been part of this organization for a long time," Rizzo said of Castro, who made his Major League debut in May 2010 at the age of 20. "He taught me a lot, how to be a big leaguer. Trading him was tough for a lot of us. To get the crowd excited like that was pretty cool."

Rizzo didn't tell anyone he was going to use the song.

"I don't know if you saw me, but I was smiling when I walked up to the plate," Rizzo said.

• Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said Monday there is no update regarding a contract extension. Epstein's five-year deal ends after this season.

"We haven't talked a lot about it, but the few talks we've had have been very amicable and productive and it's moving in the right direction," Epstein said. "When things stabilize and we get through this injury situation [with Schwarber] and into the rhythm of the season, I'm sure we'll pick up talks and get something done, but it's not really a concern."

• The Cubs acquired left-handed pitcher Giovanni Soto from the Indians on Monday for cash considerations. To make room on the 40-man roster, Schwarber was transferred to the 60-day disabled list.

Soto, 24, who was optioned to Triple-A Iowa, made his Major League debut with the Indians last season and threw six scoreless relief appearances, covering 3 1/3 innings. He held opponents to a .231 batting average.

At Triple-A Columbus last year, Soto went 2-1 with two saves and a 2.68 ERA in 46 appearances, all but one in relief.

Soto was originally selected by the Tigers in the 21st round of the 2009 Draft and was acquired by the Indians for Jhonny Peralta a year later.

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.