(670 The Score) Amid a trying 2017 season in which he struggled mightily in the first half and was sent down to Triple-A Iowa in June, Cubs outfielder Kyle Schwarber received plenty of advice from many coaches, teammates, friends, family members and more.
Some of the words that stood out the most were those he received from teammate Anthony Rizzo upon Schwarber’s demotion. They were also some of the simplest.
“I remember when I was getting sent down, and Riz came up to me and he said, ‘Hey man, I’ve been in your shoes before,'” Schwarber recalled in an interview on the Bernstein and Goff Show last week. “‘Just go down there and take care of yourself. Go down there and get back to what you want to do, and everything will work out and you’ll be right back up here.’ It happens to the best players. Obviously, Riz has been one of the best in the game for awhile, and for him to come up there and say that to me, it meant a lot. You take that stuff really seriously.”
Rizzo was referencing his 2011 season, when he debuted for the Padres and hit .141 in 49 games. Since then, he’s become a three-time All-Star, Gold Glove winner and leader of a club that won the championship in 2016.
For his part, Schwarber wants to use his past to help set the stage for an upward trajectory. He hit .211 with 30 homers, 59 RBIs and a .782 OPS in 2017.
“I wouldn’t take back anything that’s happened over the last couple of years,” Schwarber said of a roller-coaster big league career that involved him missing almost the entire 2016 regular season before returning to shine in the World Series. I find it as a very harsh learning experience. You learn from your failures to make yourself better.”