Kyle Schwarber’s 2017 season was many things; hotly anticipated at the outset, fiercely debated by many, and notably turbulent throughout. No one was sure what the year would bring for Schwarber in his first full season with the Cubs, but most would not have guessed he would at one point be demoted to Triple-A Iowa.
Schwarber was sent down to the minors on June 22 after batting .171/.295/.378 with 75 strikeouts in 261 plate appearances. He handled the demotion with class, telling the Associated Press, “I’m not here to try to change everything … I want to get back to myself, and be confident while doing it. It’s an opportunity to relax and get back to being myself and try and get back up [to Chicago].”
In 11 games with the I-Cubs, Schwarber batted .343 with four home runs and a .477 OBP. He returned to the Cubs on July 6 with more confidence and went on to hit 18 of his 30 home runs with a .565 slugging percentage and OPS of .903. The break proved to be just the respite that the struggling slugger needed.
Joe Maddon expressed early confidence in Schwarber as the team’s leadoff hitter, and how could one argue with the power of a Schwarber-Bryant-Rizzo lineup to start the order? Unfortunately, the experiment proved unsuccessful.
Kyle Schwarber and Ian Happ poised for success in 2018
Fanrag Sports | Feb 15