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Schwarber could return to leadoff when back

MLB.com @CarrieMuskat

CHICAGO -- When Kyle Schwarber returns to the Cubs, he may be back in the leadoff spot. Manager Joe Maddon says he hasn't decided yet.

Schwarber was sent to Triple-A Iowa to work on his swing after batting .171 with the Cubs. In 10 games with the Minor League team, he was hitting .333 with four home runs and nine RBIs.

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CHICAGO -- When Kyle Schwarber returns to the Cubs, he may be back in the leadoff spot. Manager Joe Maddon says he hasn't decided yet.

Schwarber was sent to Triple-A Iowa to work on his swing after batting .171 with the Cubs. In 10 games with the Minor League team, he was hitting .333 with four home runs and nine RBIs.

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Maddon does not feel that having Schwarber lead off contributed to his struggles.

"It's zero concern," Maddon said Wednesday. "He would've struggled in the eight-hole. I find no connection between his struggles and where he was hitting in the batting order -- it's just that he was struggling. He was just missing his pitch. He was not trying to be any kind of different hitter, he was not trying to do anything differently. He was just not hitting.

"In my mind's eye, [leading off] had nothing to do with it," Maddon said. "I would not be concerned with putting him back there, it just depends on what he looks like when he gets back."

There is no timetable for Schwarber's return.

Kyle Hendricks, on the disabled list since June 5 with inflammation in his right hand, played catch on Wednesday and will throw his second bullpen session either Friday or Saturday. Hendricks threw his first bullpen session since going on the DL on Tuesday.

• One of the bright spots on the Cubs this season has been the bullpen, and Maddon gives closer Wade Davis a lot of credit for that. The right-hander, who is the Cubs' All-Star representative this season, entered Wednesday 16-for-16 in save opportunities with a 1.93 ERA.

"I think of Wade as an anchor and even conversationally with these guys, he's a mentor," Maddon said. "He's a pitcher and he talks pitching and how to get guys out and he sets an example for the rest of the group. There's not a whole lot to complain about with the bullpen."

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.

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