July 6 (UPI) — He was sent down to Triple-A on June 22, but Kyle Schwarber is making his way back to Wrigley Field after being recalled.
A source familiar with the move told ESPN that the Chicago Cubs will recall Schwarber on Thursday. He hit .171 with 12 home runs and 28 RBI this season for Chicago, before being sent to Triple-A Iowa. In 11 minor league appearances, Schwarber raked .343 with four home runs and nine RBI.
The World Series champs own the No. 28 batting average in Major League Baseball.
Cubs director of player development Jaron Madison hinted that the move could come soon when asked by the Chicago Tribune. Madison said that a promotion before the All-Star break was “not out of the question.”
“He still has some things to work out, get some at-bats, but the at-bats I saw were under control,” Madison told the Tribune. “They were driving the ball the other way. He had an [opposite field] home run that was crushed. He hit three home runs over the scoreboard.”
“He’s pretty close. I think he’s feeling good where he is.”
Schwarber, 24, is expected to see some time at leadoff, where he was before being sent down. Cubs skipper Joe Maddon said his spot in the batting order wasn’t the reason for his struggles.
“It’s zero concern,” Maddon told MLB.com on Wednesday. “He would’ve struggled in the eight-hole. I find no connection between his struggles and where he was hitting in the batting order — it’s just that he was struggling. He was just missing his pitch. He was not trying to be any kind of different hitter, he was not trying to do anything differently. He was just not hitting.”
“In my mind’s eye, [leading off] had nothing to do with it,” Maddon said. “I would not be concerned with putting him back there, it just depends on what he looks like when he gets back.”
Anthony Rizzo was the Cubs’ regular leadoff hitter and Jon Jay was recently raking against right-handed pitchers. Willson Contreras and Ben Zobrist have also hit first for the Cubs this season.
The Cubs have yet to announce a corresponding roster move for the recall.