Cubs star Kyle Schwarber won't be in the starting lineup for the three World Series games this weekend after he was denied medical clearance to play the outfield following his return from knee surgery.
Schwarber tore a pair of knee ligaments on April 7 and returned in Tuesday's Series opener. He was 3 for 7 with a double, two RBIs and two walks as the designated hitter in the first two games at Cleveland, but with the shift to Wrigley Field, there will be no DH.
Chicago president of baseball operations Theo Epstein says it's too soon after the injury for Schwarber's knee to be fully tested, especially with quick moves required to play the outfield. He says: "There was too much risk."
Schwarber will be used as a pinch hitter. He says it's "not disappointing at all" and "it was a long shot at the most."
The Indians will likely start designated hitter Carlos Santana in left field in Game 3.
Without a DH because they're playing in a National League ballpark, the Indians are prepared to put Santana, who has only played the position for a few innings in his career, out in left at Wrigley Field, where he'll have to deal with the wind and the rowdy bleacher crowd never mind the pressure.
Indians manager Terry Francona said he has "anxiety" in making the move but feels it gives his team the best chance to win.
Santana, who hit 34 homers during the regular season, last played left in 2012 during a 14-1 loss. He's been taking fly balls in preparation for his start and said he's excited about the opportunity.
The first two games of the World Series averaged 18.3 million viewers on Fox, up 27 percent from last year and the most since 2009.
The Nielsen company said Thursday that Chicago's 5-1 win over Cleveland on Wednesday night received an 11.3 rating and 19 share and averaged 17.4 million viewers. Kansas City's 7-1 victory over the New York Mets in Game 2 last year was seen by an average of 13.7 million viewers.
The two-game average of 10.7/19 and 19.2 million is the most since 11.8/19 and 19.2 million for the Yankees-Philadelphia Series in 2009.
In addition, Fox Sports Deportes averaged 278,000 for Spanish-language coverage for Game 2 and Fox Sports Go 115,000 for digitial viewership.