Kyle Schwarber gets a hit, strikes out three time in first game with Triple-A Iowa

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DES MOINES, Iowa – It was nearly two years to the day that he last played a game at the park he stepped onto Monday evening.

Back on July 3, 2015, Kyle Schwarber was pretty happy to be at Principal Park- home of the Triple-A Iowa Cubs. Drafted by the Cubs just a year earlier, the slugging catcher was just a single step for the major leagues. After playing with the team on July 9th in Omaha, Schwarber was off the majors.

But when Schwarber came back to Triple-A on Monday, the mood was much more subdued,

A hero in the World Series last November, a prolonged slump for the outfielder has him back in Des Moines to try to get some consistency in his hitting. Through 64 games, from the leadoff spot to the bottom of the lineup, Schwarber was batting just .191 on the season.

“The numbers spoke for themselves,” said the outfielder of his demotion to reporters at Principal Park on Monday. “Obviously you don’t ever want to come back down here, but it’s an opportunity to relax, get back to being myself and try to get back up there.”

That’s why Schwarber was third in the lineup for the Triple-A Cubs in their home game against New Orleans on Monday. Like his season in the majors, it featured a bit of good with a little more bad.

In his first minor league game since 2015, Schwarber went 1-for-4 with three strikeouts and a hit in a 1-0 Iowa victory.

New Orleans pitcher Chris O’Grady gave the left fielder issues in his first at bat, striking out Schwarber looking in the first inning and then swinging in the third along with the fifth inning. He finally broke through against reliever Brian Ellington in the eighth inning in his final plate appearance.

“I’m not here to change anything,” said Schwarber. “I want to stay in myself, I want to get back to myself and I’m going to be confident while doing it.”

He, like the rest of the Cubs fans, hopes that happens more in Chicago than Des Moines in the near future.