Kyle Schwarber Not A ‘Lock’ For Red Sox At First Base Upon Injury Return

Schwarber has one play of experience at first base

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When the Red Sox traded for Kyle Schwarber before the deadline, they acquired a power-hitting outfielder — a move that didn’t necessarily address their need for a first baseman who is capable of doing some damage with the bat.

In the days since the deal, Boston’s chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom has said Schwarber will get some reps at first base, and the veteran told reporters he is ready to help his new team even if it means joining the infield.

But before Saturday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays, manager Alex Cora reeled the speculation back a bit.

“We’re not going to lock him in at first base,” Cora said. “There’s a few things that we can do with him and obviously with Marwin (Gonzalez) coming back that are going to give us a chance to be creative, and versatility is going to come back to our roster. That’s something that we’ve been missing for a while now with Danny (Santana), Christian (Arroyo) and Marwin down.”

Schwarber has spent the majority of his career in left field, though he played catcher as recently as 2019. He has exactly one play worth of major league experience, from an April 2017 game with the Chicago Cubs, when he moved there from the grass in the 11th inning.

But the Red Sox will have to wait it out before seeing what Schwarber can do anywhere on the field. He suffered a hamstring strain at the start of the month but told reporters Saturday he expects to start rehab “soon.”

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