The Schwarbs is back in Chicago.
The Cubs recalled Kyle Schwarber from Triple-A Iowa early Thursday morning.
The left-handed slugger was sent down to the minors on June 22 after struggling to the tune of a .171 batting average (the lowest among qualified big-league hitters) and .673 OPS in 64 games.
Schwarber was sent down to regain confidence and fine-tune his swing so he could get back to doing damage on fastballs.
Think it's safe to say Schwarber accomplished that goal.
After a few days off to clear his head, Schwarber reported to Iowa and mashed, hitting four homers and driving in nine runs in 11 games to go with a .343/.477/.714 slash line (1.192 OPS). Schwarber walked eight times against 12 strikeouts.
Schwarber could be the July boost this Cubs team needs as his bat changes the landscape of this lineup, especially if he can help bring stability to the leadoff spot.
It's also worth noting Schwarber dealt with some bad luck this season, as his .193 batting average on balls in play (BABIP) illustrates.
In a corresponding move, the Cubs placed John Lackey on the 10-day disabled list with plantar fasciitis in his right foot. The team had already moved around their rotation to give Lackey some extra rest and with the four-day All-Star Break coming up next week, Lackey may not even miss a start.
Addison Russell is no longer with the Cubs and he hasn’t yet found a new home in baseball, but he hasn’t escaped being on the receiving end of some tough shots.
Baseball Prospectus, which produces a book each year with team and player capsules, breakdowns and projections, took such a shot. Their blurb for Russell is short and direct.
“The 24-hour national domestic violence hotline number is 800-799-7233.”
Russell was infamously suspended for domestic abuse late in 2018. He returned to the Cubs in 2019, but was not tendered a contract after the season, making him a free agent.
Russell hasn’t found a new landing place with spring training already underway. With this still hanging over his head, it’s no secret as to why.
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As new manager David Ross takes over for Joe Maddon, he intends to tweak the culture of the Cubs and set his own mark on the team. Jeff Nelson is joined by Outside the Ivy and Bleacher Nation's Michael Cerami to discuss what kind of impact David Ross will have on the 2020 Cubs, what should be expected from the pitching staff and bullpen, and the uncertainty of who plays in the outfield.
(1:36) - What does Ross' impact look like?
(8:28) - Concerns with the pitching staff
(16:00) - Will Craig Kimbrel be better this year?
(20:00) - Will Kris Bryant have enough rope to get used to leading off?
(25:05) - Who do you trust to play the outfield every day?
Listen here or in the embedded player below.
Cubs Talk Podcast