I have been preaching patience with Schwarber since his struggles became apparent this season, but we’ve gotten to a point where a change needed to be made. I still think he is going to find himself at the plate and have a strong second half of the season, but it looks like that will have to start down in Iowa.
The problem with sending a guy like Schwarber down is the narrative that surrounds him. Getting injured in the first week of the season last year, coming back ahead of schedule for the playoffs and being highly productive without having a full season of time in the Majors kind of mythicized him. Sending him down is a black eye on the building legacy of this young player, but obviously not something he can’t rebound from. I envision Schwarber will be back up in the near future after getting some confidence back and some added experience against left handed pitching. While the Cubs aren’t producing the way we all thought they would thus far, they have the depth to fill Schwarber’s shoes. The emergence of Ian Happ makes this an easy decision for the Cubs. Striking out 75 times with a .171 average in 261 plate appearances wasn’t cutting it and it didn’t seem like he was going to figure it out naturally. I think batting him in the lead-off spot this early in his career kind of messed with his head a little bit. Leading off a player with less than 500 career major league at bats (at the time) was probably pushing the envelope for his development, considering he has been used to batting in the meat of the order his entire career. Nobody panic, Schwarber has a long career ahead of him and this is just a small bump in the road the 24 year old. And hey, at least he isn’t regularly in AA like Josh Hamilton. He will be back soon, and he will be a major contributor in this year’s World Series run. See you soon Kyle.