The Chicago Cubs are crossing their fingers that Jason Heyward can break out of his horrid slump. Heyward has had a rough season thus far hitting .231 with an on-base percentage of .321. Heyward’s line drive percentage (29%) is the highest of his career and his strikeout ratio (19.1 percent) which is his highest since 2012.
Cubs manager Joe Maddon dropped Heyward in the batting order in a move he is hoping will help turn things around for him.
“Just give him a little break out of that 2-hole and see if we can get him going in the right direction on a more consistent basis,” Maddon said on Monday.”We talked about it. He was fine with it.”
“Just rearrange the deck chairs and see how it plays,” Maddon said. “A week before the All-Star break, you can look at it, evaluate it. It’ll look different when we come back. Just get a feel for it right now.”
Heyward did seem fine with it and also seemed upbeat regarding the move.
“Joe wants to mix it up and continue to do things to help us as a group,” Heyward said. “I’m not really thinking about that. Just trying to help the team win.”
The Cubs are due to get some players back from the disabled list, including Dexter Fowler. Chicago is 5-9 since Fowler went down with injury. Fowler tested his hamstring on Monday with some agility drills.
“It’s a lot better,” Fowler said. “I picked up the intensity. It felt good. Hopefully it’s not long.”
Fowler is likely to be named to the All-Star game, something both Maddon and Fowler commented on with Maddon saying that if he is ready to play on Tuesday then he’ll play in the All-Star Game.
“Coincidence more than anything,” Maddon said. “We’re not trying to push for him to play in the All-Star Game. This is all conjecture. You don’t want the timing to interfere with what you would have wanted anyway.”
Fowler wants to play in the game but doesn’t know how the week will play out.
“I don’t know the future,” Fowler said. “You want to be cautious with it. I haven’t had any setbacks. It’s getting better fast.”