The Cubs fast track brought a hometown boy back to where he watched games as a youth.
Kyle Schwarber from Middletown will start behind the plate and catch against the Reds on Monday night.
"It's good to be back as a player at a place that I watched games for years," Schwarber said. "It helped that I was at the Futures Game. It was a sold out crowd. Now I know what to expect. My family and friends will probably be more nervous than I will."
Scharber, 22, signed his first contract just 378 days ago. He was the Cubs' first pick last June and fourth player drafted overall.
"I've always been a Reds' fan," Schwarber said. "I watched Votto, Bruce and Frazier do their thing. My favorite player was Pokey Reese. I don't know why. I guess I just liked the name."
Schwarber has been getting help on the strategic side of the game from former Reds' catcher David Ross.
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"When I was up here for the six days before and I wasn't preparing to hit, I would sit next to David Ross and (Miguel) Montero," said Schwarber, who was with the team for six days as the designated hitter in Cleveland.
"There may be an initial charge before the game," Cubs' manager Joe Madden said. "Once the game gets rolling he'll be fine. He can handle it. I'm more worried about off-the-field stuff. He will be worried about getting tickets for family and not forgetting anyone. He's improved a lot behind the plate since spring training. He's more supple; not as rigid. The biggest thing to learn is the strategy and that will take time. He will learn the hitters and what his pitcher can do in situations."
"I am going to treat it like another game," Schwarber said.
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