Cubs’ Kyle Schwarber on track to return from minors by All-Star break?

SHARE Cubs’ Kyle Schwarber on track to return from minors by All-Star break?
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Kyle Schwarber (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Kyle Schwarber has performed well enough in his first nine games back in the minors that the Cubs haven’t ruled out a return to the majors during the weekend series against the Pirates at Wrigley Field.

‘‘That’s up to [president] Theo [Epstein] and [general manager] Jed [Hoyer],’’ farm director Jaron Madison said of the front-office bosses. ‘‘I think it’s not out of the question. It’ll really just be up to how [Schwarber] performs in Oklahoma City and kind of take it series by series. He’s pretty close. And I think he’s feeling good about where he is.’’

Schwarber, who was hitting .171 when he was optioned to the minors June 22, was with Class AAA Iowa to open a three-game series Tuesday in Oklahoma City.

‘‘His swing’s way more balanced,’’ said Madison, who was at Wrigley on Tuesday after a trip to Iowa. ‘‘I wouldn’t expect him to be [in the minors] too much longer, but he still has some things to work out and get some at-bats. But the at-bats I saw were under control. They were driving the ball the other way.’’

Schwarber hit two home runs Friday and two more Saturday — three over the scoreboard in Iowa and the other ‘‘crushed’’ to the opposite field, Madison said. Through nine games at Iowa, he was 10-for-30 with four homers, six walks and a 1.193 OPS.

Hitting coordinator Andy Haines traveled to Oklahoma City to continue working with Schwarber. Madison said the issues are less physical than mental.

‘‘Just getting him back to who he was as a hitter all through his career, which is a really good hitter who has power,’’ Madison said. ‘‘When he was up here, it looked like he was trying to hit for power and getting away from being a really good hitter.’’

Of Schwarber’s 38 hits with the Cubs this season, 12 were homers.

‘‘Really, the mentality, the approach was what was wrong,’’ Madison said. ‘‘And then just keeping him balanced and getting him back to where he’s been his whole career, which is balance, center, can drive the ball to all fields with tremendous power.’’

Follow me on Twitter @GDubCub.

Email: gwittenmyer@suntimes.com

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