Fourth overall pick Kyle Schwarber was promoted to Class A Kane County after tearing up the Northwest League. | AP
MIAMI — That didn’t take long.
Only 12 days after he was drafted No. 4 overall — and four days after making his professional debut — Cubs slugging prospect Kyle Schwarber was promoted Tuesday night from short-season Boise to Class A Kane County.
Let the bandwagon begin — to accelerate down Interstate 88.
“Everybody’s excited about the start he’s had,” manager Rick Renteria said. “Hopefully, it continues for him.”
Schwarber, a lefty-hitting catcher/outfielder from Indiana University, hit two more home runs for Boise on Tuesday afternoon before getting word of his promotion.
In what didn’t seem like a fair fight with Northwest League pitching, Schwarber went 12-for-20 with four homers, 10 RBI and a 1.975 on-base-plus-slugging percentage in five games.
If the NWL season lasted five games, he would’ve won the Triple Crown.
Kane County opens the second half of the Midwest League season at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at home.
In related news, Kris Bryant, has not been promoted from Class AA Tennessee.
Hard to imagine this would have been the case when Jose Veras was an employee, but the Cubs’ bullpen suddenly had a 3.01 ERA, through Monday, that ranked fourth in the National League and seventh in the majors.
“They’re doing phenomenal,” Renteria said the day after seven relievers combined to pitch seven scoreless innings of two-hit ball in a 13-inning victory over Miami.
“They’ve handled any situation we’ve put them in. I couldn’t be any prouder than I am about the way they’ve gone about their business.”
The relief corps took a streak of 111/3 scoreless innings into Tuesday’s game. They hadn’t given up a run since Friday in Philadelphia.
Renteria still says he won’t bat Travis Wood (.276, two homers, game-winning RBI Monday) higher than ninth when he pitches. But he did say that with a short bench (because the Cubs carry an extra reliever), he might go to him as a pinch hitter earlier in close ballgames.
◆ Wood’s winning double was the first extra-base hit by a Cubs pitcher in a pure pinch-hit situation since Johnny Klippstein did it in 1950 against the Reds, according to the Sun-Times baseball contributor Bill Chuck.