Chicago Cubs aren’t going to trade Kyle Schwarber anytime soon

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
CLEVELAND, OH – NOVEMBER 01: Kyle Schwarber #12 and Anthony Rizzo #44 of the Chicago Cubs react after Addison Russell #27 hit a grand slam home run during the third inning against the Cleveland Indians in Game Six of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 1, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Schwarber showed resilience in tough 2017 season

As the Cubs opened Cactus League play last spring, Joe Maddon had a plan for Kyle Schwarber. To use him as a weapon out of the leadoff spot – an intriguing idea, to say the least.

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Looking back, we know this experiment failed in every way imaginable. Schwarber put up a measly  .190/.312/.381 slash-line out of the leadoff spot. As the first batter of a game, matters got even worse. He hit just .161/.278/.194 – and, just like that, things headed south. He never seemed comfortable at the dish in the first half and, to the surprise of many, the Cubs sent him to Triple-A Iowa to get his head and swing right.

With the I-Cubs, the former first-rounder seemed to figure some things out. He batted .343/.477/.714 in 11 games, earning his way back to Chicago for a second-half push. After the All-Star Break, he looked like a different hitter – though not to the level fans hoped for.

Steps in the right direction

From the first to second half, Schwarber saw his OPS climb 200 points. He hit .178 prior to the All-Star Game. After that, he hit a much more respectable .253. Granted, it’s still not what you want to see from a guy who carries such lofty expectations, but progress clearly took place.

He drove the ball more consistently, as well. Seventeen of his 30 home runs came down the stretch. The power is still there. But, heading into 2018, we may see a very different approach from the young outfielder.