Chicago Cubs slugger Kyle Schwarber made his first public comments on Monday following his demotion to Triple-A Iowa.
The 24-year-old isn’t at all surprised the Cubs sent him down. He has the lowest batting average in the league among qualified batters, and has yet to look anything like the hero Chicago saw in the World Series.
Manager Joe Maddon says the demotion is just a ‘bump in the road’ for the young outfielder.
"“Just go back there and do the right thing. You’re going to be back for a long, long time. You’re going to play til you’re 35, at least. You’ll have a wonderful major league career. In the meantime, really try to understand what’s going on,” Maddon said."
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What’s wrong with Schwarber?
According to multiple reports, Schwarber has been pressing at the plate. He went from the smooth hitting slugger who uses all sides of the field to a batter who think long-ball first. This is the primary factor in his .171 batting average and 75 strikeouts. Bare in mind, he struck out just 77 times in his first 69 games as a pro in 2015.
Maddon told the Chicago Tribune that he doesn’t believe Schwarber needs to reinvent himself while in Iowa. He’s more worried about his mentality at the plate and being able to slow the game down. He’s playing in front of a crowd that thinks he needs to be the Babe of the NL Central’s Paul Bunyan-esque team. This leads to the anxiety and eagerness that has so far defined Schwarber’s 2017 campaign.
When will we see Schwarbs again?
Chicago has not set a timeline for Schwarber’s return to the big leagues. Even so, the young slugger has displayed his above-and-beyond maturity level while in Iowa.
"“It’s part of the game. You’ve got to learn how to fail to be the best. A lot of good players have gone through this,” Schwarber said."
To some players, a demotion like this could be catastrophic to a their confidence level. But, in Schwarber’s case, he sees it as an opportunity to get back what made him successful in the first place.
Schwarber batted third in Iowa’s game on Monday. He went 1-for-4 with three strikeouts in the team’s 1-0 victory.