Chicago Cubs: Is Kyle Schwarber Boston’s next Big Papi?
Kyle Schwarber became a fan favorite with the Chicago Cubs because of his heroics in the 2016 World Series and his monstrous home runs during his time in Chicago. The team let him go last winter as part of their transition, and he found a home with the Washington Nationals, hitting 16 home runs in June alone. He got traded to the Red Sox at the trade deadline and is, once again, showing he’s a postseason performer.
He has hit three home runs so far including a huge grand slam, with a slash line of .250/.341/.528. He has become the big slugger in Boston’s lineup in the 2021 postseason. The American League has the DH, and Schwarber fits that mold perfectly. The Red Sox haven’t replaced David Ortiz in their lineup since he retired, and if he keeps up his October heroics, maybe Schwarber becomes the new Big Papi.
He’s working on the postseason resume, and still has time to add to it this postseason, with Game 5 of the ALCS on Wednesday and, at the very least, a Game 6 in the cards. Schwarber’s career postseason line is .275/.383/.559, good for a .942 OPS. His regular season slash line is .237/.343/.493, an .836 OPS. He seems to turn it on when the lights come on, despite also being a good regular season hitter, too.
Ortiz’ cumulative postseason slash line is .289/.404/.543, a .947 OPS, and his regular season OPS is .931, so he was always a good, consistent hitter. This is not an article saying that Schwarber will be the next Ortiz, that’s absurd. David Ortiz is a Hall of Fame player. That being said, Schwarber has mirrored the slugger’s performance in his still-young postseason career. He has the record for most home runs hit by a Cubs player in postseason history, hitting five in the 2015 postseason.
Chicago Cubs: Kyle Schwarber is writing quite an October resume
Ortiz hit 17 career postseason home runs, Schwarber is at nine currently, he’s already halfway there. One way to endear yourself to a fanbase is to come up with big moments and Schwarber has been full of them in Boston. He replicated one of his famous Cubs moments in this year’s Wild Card game, smashing a home run off Gerrit Cole, only this time with Cole pitching for the Yankees.
Fans love guys who show up in big moments – and that’s exactly what Schwarber’s done so far this October in Beantown. Whether or not he’ll get the chance to do it for the Sox past this fall remains to be seen. If he does, Big Papi might have some company when talking about fall legends.