After an encouraging stint at Triple-A, Kyle Schwarber is set to return to the Cubs lineup today. Meanwhile, veteran hurler Lackey will start his All-Star break early, as he heads to the DL.
Kyle Schwarber is set to make yet another return to the Major Leagues. The Chicago Cubs recalled the outfielder from Triple-A Iowa for Thursday’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers, per ESPN Chicago’s Jesse Rogers.
The Cubs outfielder was sent back to the minors on June 22, amid struggles that saw the 24-year-old produce only one hit in his last 14 at-bats. On the year, Schwarber is third on the team with 12 home runs, but it has been offset by tremendous struggles otherwise. His .171/.295/.378 split line is a far cry from expectations for the full-time return of a promising young slugger, who made a miraculous return from multiple torn ligaments early in the year.
When Schwarber returned from injury in the World Series, he hit for a .412 average and a .500 on-base percentage, setting expectations for a strong return in 2017. But Schwarber failed to meet those expectations, hitting .120 and .196 in May and June, respectively. However, his time spent in the minors was well-served, as Schwarber hit .343/.477/.714 with four home runs over 44 at-bats.
Schwarber was never expected to be gone for long, as the demotion was seemingly viewed as a motivational move for the former No. 4 overall pick, who only had limited at-bats during his rehab time late last year, in an effort to have him ready for the World Series.
“We were pretty much on-board that he looked right and it was time to bring him back,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said.
“It’s just a matter that we thought he looked ready to go”, Maddon continued. “If he did not look like he was ready to go, then sincerely, he would not be here today.”
Schwarber’s return comes with the news that starting pitcher John Lackey will head to the 10-day disabled list, due to issues stemming from plantar fasciitis. Lackey was Wednesday’s starter in the Cubs’ 7-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays. He allowed three earned runs over six innings, while striking out three in a no-decision.