CHICAGO -- The Chicago Cubs haven’t completed the evaluation of starting catcher Miguel Montero's thumb, so the team isn’t sure if he’ll need a disabled list stint coming out of the All-Star break.
“The initial evaluation is, it could be not so bad and then it could be bad,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said Sunday morning. “It’s totally in this middle range thing.”
Montero jammed his left thumb while catching in Saturday’s contest against the Chicago White Sox, leaving the game after batting in the bottom of the second inning. He had an MRI on Saturday, but the Cubs still aren’t sure if he’ll be ready by Friday when they begin the second half of the season in Atlanta.
Maddon was asked if 2014 first-round pick Kyle Schwarber would be a consideration if Montero isn’t available.
“Of course it could be,” Maddon responded. “Right now we have not gotten to that point. Schwarber is always a consideration for what we do in the future.”
Schwarber is playing in the Futures Game on Sunday in Cincinnati and had a successful stint in the majors during interleague play last month. He hit .364 with a home run and six RBIs while serving as the team’s designated hitter.
The Cubs want him to get the maximum amount of time behind the plate at Triple-A Iowa before returning to the big leagues, as they haven’t deemed him ready for the demands of being a major league catcher just yet. If not Schwarber then the team would probably just go with journeymen Taylor Teagarden and David Ross, who was activated from the seven-day concussion list Sunday.
“I think Teagarden has done a really nice job,” Maddon said. “I thought he did a great job [Saturday] coming off the bench with Jon (Lester).”
Teagarden is a seven-year veteran originally drafted by the Texas Rangers in the third round in 2005. The Cubs are his fourth major league team. He has a career .201 batting average, while Ross is hitting .189 this season.
The case for Schwarber’s bat could be a compelling one.