MLB

Chicago Cubs demote outfielder Kyle Schwarber to triple-A after season-long struggles

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The Chicago Cubs were supposed to be on the verge of a dynasty after winning the World Series and snapping a 108-year title drought last season.

With a young core of hitters and a talented veteran pitching staff, it looked as though the Cubbies could sustain their success for years to come.

However, the team has struggled this year, posting only a 37-35 record thus far and trailing the Milwaukee Brewers by 1.5 games in the National League Central division.

As they look to jumpstart the team heading into the summer months, they've decided to demote slugger Kyle Schwarber to triple-A Iowa for a while, according to ESPN.com:

"He took it really well. We're doing to hopefully reset him," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "Get him back up here with a fresh start. He was very professional about it. Understood it, entirely."

Schwarber has had a terrible year at the plate, hitting only .171 with 12 home runs and 28 RBI in 222 at-bats through 64 games.

Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer echoed Maddon's sentiments, saying he expects Schwarber to be fine after he gets a break from the day-to-day grind of an MLB season:

"At some point it felt like the right thing to do was give him a chance to hit the reset button," Hoyer said. "We got to the point mentally we thought he needs a mental break before he could come out of it."

Schwarber tore his ACL in 2016, forcing him to miss all but two games. He did manage to return to action in time for the World Series, where he served as the designated hitter during the games in Cleveland.

The Cubs don't expect Schwarber to be in the minors for long, as his bat will be needed down the stretch, but a short break - maybe until the mid-July All-Star break - could be just what the doctor ordered for the struggling slugger:

"There is no actual timetable," Maddon said. "I don't anticipate it to be long. We'll see how it plays out."

In 2015, Schwarber made the most of his limited opportunities as a rookie, appearing in 69 games and hitting .246 with 16 home runs and 43 RBI.

The Cubs have other issues they're working to fix, too, as they recently placed outfielder Jason Heyward on the disabled list with an injured hand. The team called up outfielder Mark Zagunis to replace Schwarber on the roster - his first call-up to the majors.

Obviously, there's still a lot of baseball left to play and the Cubs are only 1.5 games behind the Brewers, so it's way too early to panic. Still, the Cubs need to figure out what's wrong with Schwarber or their lineup won't be as scary this fall.

Topics:
MLB World Series
Chicago Cubs
Joe Maddon
MLB
MLB American League
MLB National League
MLB Playoffs

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