MLB Notes: Schwarber Returns to Cubs After Minor-league Stint

CHICAGO -- Kyle Schwarber has returned to the Chicago Cubs following a two-week stint in the minor leagues to work on his offensive struggles.

Schwarber is in the lineup for the afternoon game against the Milwaukee Brewers, batting fifth and playing left field.

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The 24-year-old outfielder was hitting .171 with 12 home runs and 28 RBIs in 64 games before being demoted. Schwarber, who missed nearly all of last season with two torn ligaments in his left knee, batted .343 with four homers in 11 games for Triple-A Iowa.

"I really just focused on myself and everything about my swing," he said Thursday. "We'll see how it goes, but I'm planning on this being me and going out and competing."

To make room on the roster, right-hander John Lackey was placed on the 10-day disabled list with plantar fasciitis of the right foot.

MLB: Hernandez, who sued MLB, among All-Star Game umpires
NEW YORK -- Angel Hernandez, who sued Major League Baseball this week alleging racial discrimination, is among the umpires for Tuesday's All-Star Game in Miami.

Hernandez will be at first base as part of a crew headed by Joe West. Hernandez was at third base for both the 1999 All-Star Game in Boston and the 2009 game in St. Louis.

Under the umpires' labor contract, MLB must notify umpires of All-Star Game assignments at least 30 days in advance of the game.

West last month became the third umpire to work 5,000 regular-season games, following Bill Klem and Bruce Froemming. He worked third base for the 1987 All-Star Game at Oakland and was behind the plate for the 2005 All-Star Game at Detroit.

The rest of the crew announced Thursday includes Mark Carlson (second), Chris Conroy (third), Manny Gonzalez (left) and Mike Estabrook (right). The replay umpire in New York will be Doug Eddings.

The official scorers will be Miami-based scorer Ron Jernick, Patrick Saunders of The Denver Post and Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald.

Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash will be among the AL coaches and Miami manager Don Mattingly among the NL coaches.

Defending champ Stanton is top seed in HR derby; Judge No. 2
NEW YORK -- Defending champion Giancarlo Stanton will be the top seed in the Home Run Derby on Monday night at his home ballpark in Miami.

Stanton received the No. 1 seed after winning the event during All-Star week last year in San Diego. He will face New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez, the No. 8 seed, in the opening round at Marlins Park.

Yankees rookie Aaron Judge, who leads the majors with 29 home runs, is the No. 2 seed and will square off against seventh-seeded Justin Bour of the hometown Marlins. Another rookie, No. 3 seed Cody Bellinger of the Los Angeles Dodgers, is paired with sixth-seeded Charlie Blackmon of Colorado. No. 4 seed Mike Moustakas from the Kansas City Royals is matched against Minnesota slugger Miguel Sano, the fifth seed.

Major League Baseball announced the bracket Wednesday night. After Stanton, players were seeded based on their home run totals through Tuesday's games. In the case of a tie, the higher seed went to the player with the most home runs since June 15.

Tigers: Norris on DL with groin issue, Hardy called up
DETROIT -- The Detroit Tigers have put left-hander Daniel Norris on the 10-day disabled list with a strained left groin.

Norris lost his third straight start Wednesday night, allowing five runs in four innings of a 5-4 loss to San Francisco. He's 4-7 with a 5.29 ERA on the season.

With only four games left before the All-Star break, the Tigers didn't need a replacement starter for Norris. They recalled left-handed reliever Blaine Hardy from Triple-A Toledo before Thursday's game against the Giants.

Detroit will hope for a better second half from Norris, a 24-year-old whom manager Brad Ausmus described Thursday as "probably passionate to a fault."

"I think if he gets that harnessed, the mechanics will fall into order," Ausmus added.

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