Chicago Cubs Infielder Takes His Talents To Japan

He had his 15 minutes of fame in the majors—more like two months—but after coming back down to earth in 2022, former Chicago Cubs first baseman Frank Schwindel has decided to move on to the Nippon Professional Baseball league in Japan, signing with the Orix Buffaloes for 2023. 

Having had only 35 at-bats in the majors throughout nine years toiling in the minors, Schwindel got his big break with the Cubs in 2021 after they traded longtime first baseman Anthony Rizzo. Schwindel was installed at first base and went on a memorable tear for the Cubbies, batting .342 with 1.002 OPS in his magical 56 games, with 13 HR and 40 RBIs.

But, handed the starting job this past year, he couldn't recapture the magic in 2022, hitting just .229 with a .635 OPS, with 8 home runs in 75 games. He was released by the Cubs in September.

Schwindel, 30, landed a gig with the Águilas Cibaeñas of the Dominican Winter League in late September, and played there until his recent signing with Orix of the NPB.

Having always been essentially one of those 'Quad-A' players—great at Triple-A, but just not good enough in the majors—perhaps Japan will be just the place for Frank The Tank to recapture his dominant stroke. 

Photo: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports