Could Kyle Schwarber be back with Cubs before all-star break?

  • Iowa Cubs infielder Kyle Schwarber bat during the first inning a Triple-A baseball against the New Orleans Baby Cakes, Monday, June 26, 2017, in Des Moines, Iowa.

    Iowa Cubs infielder Kyle Schwarber bat during the first inning a Triple-A baseball against the New Orleans Baby Cakes, Monday, June 26, 2017, in Des Moines, Iowa.

Updated 7/5/2017 6:20 AM

Left fielder Kyle Schwarber is off to a good start at Class AAA Iowa, and although it's possible he could be back with the Cubs before next week's all-star break, the Chicago Cubs aren't saying anything definite yet.

Iowa was scheduled to open a three-game series Tuesday night at Oklahoma City, and Schwarber was expected to play.


Jaron Madison, the Cubs' director of player development, has seen Schwarber play in Iowa since his June 22 demotion, but he deferred to team president Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer when asked if Schwarber would be back before the break.

"Hard to say," Madison said. "That's up to Theo and Jed. I think it's not out of the question. It will really be up to how he performs in Oklahoma City and take it series by series."

Schwarber entered Tuesday 10-for-30 at Iowa with 4 home runs, 9 RBI, 6 walks and 11 strikeouts.

"He's feeling really good," Madison said. "His swing is way more balanced. He feels like he's pretty close to where he wants to be. I don't expect it to be too much longer. He still has some things to work on, get some at-bats.

"The at-bats I saw were under control. They were driving the ball the other way. He hit an oppo (opposite-field) home run that was crushed. He hit 3 other home runs over the scoreboard. He's pretty close. I think he's feeling good about where he is."

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Heyward is back:

The Cubs activated right fielder Jason Heyward off the disabled list Tuesday and recalled left-handed pitcher Jack Leathersich from Iowa.

They optioned infielder Jeimer Candelario and reliever Felix Pena to Iowa.

Heyward had been on the 10-day DL with an abrasion on his left hand. He just completed a two-game rehab stint at Class A South Bend, going 3-for-4 with a walk, 2 runs and an RBI. He came up in the second inning of Tuesday's game against the Tampa Bay Rays and singled home a run.

Leathersich, who turns 27 on July 14, was in the Cubs' minor-league system last year as he recovered from Tommy John surgery. He saw big-league time with the New York Mets in 2015.

At Iowa this year he was 0-2 with a 4.56 ERA, with 42 strikeouts in 25⅔ innings.

Candelario served two stints with the Cubs this season, and Pena was up three times.

This and that:

Ian Happ extended a hitting streak to six games with a second-inning triple. He is 8-for-24 during the streak. … The Cubs are 1-6 in interleague play after going 15-5 last season. … The crowed of 42,046 was the largest of the season and the first crowd of more than 42,000 since July 13, 2013, for a game against St. Louis. … Justin Grimm pitched 2⅔ innings of hitless relief in his longest relief outing since Aug. 23, 2014.

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