DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Slumping slugger Kyle Schwarber said Monday that he's not surprised the Chicago Cubs demoted him, saying "the numbers spoke for themselves."
Schwarber's October return following a knee injury helped fuel Chicago's first World Series title in 108 years, but he was sent down to Triple-A Iowa on Thursday after hitting .171 in 64 games this season.
Schwarber joined Iowa in time for Monday's home game against New Orleans, where he was scheduled to hit third and play left field.
The 24-year-old said the Cubs haven't given him a timeline for a return to the majors.
"A demotion is a demotion. That's obviously something that you don't want to have, and it ticks you off a little bit," Schwarber said in his first public comments since being sent down. "You can't press, you can't do anything like that. But you try to make things happen. You've got to go back to what made you successful in the first place."
Schwarber last played for Iowa in 2015, when he hit .333 in 60 at-bats to convince Chicago he was ready for the big leagues.
Schwarber went on to hit 16 home runs in 69 games for the Cubs that year, helping them advance to the National League Championship Series.
Schwarber then had his 2016 season derailed by a major knee injury in the first week of the season, but he returned to get seven hits in the World Series.
"It's part of the game. You've got to learn how to fail to be the best. A lot of good players have gone through this," Schwarber said.
Though Schwarber had 12 homers and 28 RBIs for the Cubs, his batting average is the lowest in baseball among qualified hitters by 20 points. Schwarber has also struck out 40 times in his last 129 at-bats — and he's hitting .143 against left-handers.
Schwarber said he's focused on simplifying his approach at the plate during his stint in Iowa.
"I'm not here to try to change everything. I want to stay myself. I want to get back to myself, and be confident while doing it," Schwarber said. "It's an opportunity to relax and get back to being myself and try and get back up there."
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