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Chicago Cubs: It’s time to start thinking outside of the box

May 12, 2017; St. Louis, MO, USA; Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon (70) reacts from the dugout steps during the sixth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Kane-USA TODAY Sports
May 12, 2017; St. Louis, MO, USA; Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon (70) reacts from the dugout steps during the sixth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Kane-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports /

Time to help, not hinder Schwarber

Then we have Kyle Schwarber. Last year, after missing the entire season with a knee injury–he returned to help lead the Cubs in the playoffs. With just a few rehab at-bats, he was added to the roster and hit .417 (7-for-17) with two RBIs and three walks. If not for Zobrist, he very well could have been the World Series MVP.

Fast forward to this season, and people are leaping off the Schwarber bandwagon. I’ll admit, it’s been a rough go of it for Kyle. But part of that is Maddon’s insistence in leaving him in the leadoff spot well past the point where it wasn’t working. Where should Schwarber be hitting? Maybe we should be looking at the other half of the batting order.

This is something that had proven to work well, especially when Maddon used it to help give Addison Russell better pitches to see when he first came up in 2015. The same logic could help Schwarber, who is still drawing walks (27) and hitting home runs (8) at a consistent pace. It’s his overall batting average that looks awful, and moving him to the bottom could work.

Even with the worst case scenario playing out, he could still draw a walk to get on base or jump a fastball to help generate some more offense for this team. He’s proven he can be a top-tier hitter at the major league level, and he still hasn’t played an entire season. Maddon has to do his part to help Schwarber, not hinder him.

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