(CBS) Cubs outfielder Kyle Schwarber already lost his spot at lead-off. Now he’s also lost his placement near the top of the order.
The Cubs have dropped the struggling Schwarber to seventh in the order for Friday’s game against the Cardinals at Wrigley Field. The move comes as Schwarber endures the worst struggles of his young career, as he’s batting .165 with a .286 on-base percentage and .627 OPS. Schwarber had been batting second most often, but he’s in a 2-of-32 slump.
On Friday, Ian Happ — also struggling himself in a 2-of-28 slump — will lead off for the Cubs, while Kris Bryant bats second.
Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein on Thursday spoke of the struggles many young Cubs have encountered. He didn’t speak specifically about Schwarber but did leave the door open to sending any given young Cub who needed it to Triple-A.
“If it gets to a point where they need it, just because it might be a disappointment doesn’t mean you steer away from it,” Epstein said. “It’s a break. It can be a mental break and a chance to work on things.
“You just make the right baseball decision. You don’t necessarily worry about somebody’s feelings or anything like that. You make the right baseball decision for the team first and then for the player’s development as importantly.”