(CBS) Kyle Schwarber struck out his first three at-bats with the Triple-A Iowa Cubs on Monday night before ripping a hit off the right-field wall in his first game back in the minor leagues.
It was a different look for Schwarber, demoted to get himself corrected after a tough start to this season. But he has taken it in stride and is aiming to improve. Cubs manager Joe Maddon was sure to text Schwarber before he made his way to Des Moines.
Maddon spoke of Schwarber during his weekly appearance on the Spiegel & Parkins Show on Tuesday.
“He’s fine,” Maddon said. “He gets it. He understands why. It’s a bump in the road.
“Just go back there and do the right thing. You’re going to be back for a long, long time. You’re going to play ’til you’re 35, at least. You’ll have a wonderful major league career. In the meantime, really try to understand what’s going on.”
Schwarber was hitting .171 with the Cubs this season, hitting 12 home runs and knocking in 28 RBIs. He average wasn’t improving, and his swing was struggling considerably to the point the Cubs opted for Schwarber to get his head cleared with a weekend off before reporting to Iowa and working on his swing.
For Maddon, the mechanics are the greater issue, and great changes aren’t needed.
“He doesn’t want to reinvent himself,” Maddon said. “He wants to get back to what he had been. I think if you’re in a situation like he just was with us here, things do have a tendency to go too quickly. We’ve all been there. That’s just what was happening with him.
“Go back, slow it down, get your swagger back, come back up and do what you can do normally do here on the major league level. I think he’s handled it perfectly.
“Mechanics get thrown off sometimes when things don’t go well, and then you get so anxious or eager to get a hit that you stop doing what you normally do — nice and slow, get it back, land softly on your front side, get your hands ready early — all those things just go away because of what you’re thinking.
“It’s not like he has to reinvent himself He knows how to hit. He’s got a wonderful method.”
While Schwarber works in Iowa, the Cubs are in Washington preparing for the second game of a four-game set with the Nationals. They took the first game of the series with a 5-4 victory on Monday night, one in which the Cubs held on with the Nationals scoring four times in the bottom half of the inning.
The game began with Willson Contreras becoming the latest Cubs lead-off hitter to open the game with a home run. It ended with the Cubs improving to 39-37.
“Just a really interesting game,” Maddon said. “Our defense showed up, our bullpen was fabulous. For that time of the year, first game of a four-game set, a pretty interesting night.”
You can listen to Maddon’s full interview below: