Inbox: Future Padres home run king?

Beat reporter AJ Cassavell answers fans' questions

Inbox: Future Padres home run king?

Who do you think has a better chance of breaking Nate Colbert's record for home runs as a Padre -- Hunter Renfroe or Wil Myers?
-- David E., Clovis, Calif.

Love this question. And I'll start by saying that both have a very good chance to top the 163 home runs that Colbert hit with San Diego from 1969-74.

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AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Where will Royals put Strahm?

Beat reporter Jeffrey Flanagan answers questions from fans

Inbox: Where will Royals put Strahm?

KANSAS CITY -- The Royals have won four straight series and suddenly are knocking on the door in the American League Central. The once-dormant offense has awoken, and there are positive vibes throughout the clubhouse.

With that backdrop, let's get to this week's Royals Inbox.

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Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Can the Reds depend on Bailey?

Beat reporter Mark Sheldon answers questions from fans

Inbox: Can the Reds depend on Bailey?

What can the Reds expect from Homer Bailey?
-- Charlie on Facebook live

It's a good question. Bailey will be activated from the 60-day disabled list on Saturday to make his season debut vs. the Nationals. He's a bit of an X-factor, because it's hard to place high expectations on someone who has had three elbow surgeries and only eight starts since August 2014. The last surgery was Feb. 18 to remove bone chips. But based on his rehab assignment numbers, they should expect some length and dependability. The rotation has averaged 4.93 innings per start this season. If Bailey can just go six or seven innings and keep the team in the game, the lineup should be able to do its part.

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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Cueto to be used as Deadline chip?

Beat reporter Chris Haft answers questions from Giants fans

Inbox: Cueto to be used as Deadline chip?

What big changes do you see for the Giants at the non-waiver Trade Deadline?
-- Mike L., Tucson, Ariz.

Johnny Cueto will be the subject of much trade speculation, largely due to the opt-out clause in his contract that he can exercise after this season. The Giants probably won't want to risk receiving nothing in return but a compensatory pick in next year's Draft if Cueto chooses free agency and signs with another team. However, that opt-out clause presents a two-fold problem for the Giants: It forces them to explore trading him in the first place, though he can continue to bolster the starting rotation; and it also reduces his trade value, since it essentially makes him a "rental." The Giants must hope that a bidding war will develop among contending clubs needing pitching help. If that happens, San Francisco might be able to obtain a decent Minor League prospect for Cueto.

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Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Will Cards buy or sell at Trade Deadline?

Beat reporter Jenifer Langosch answers questions from fans

Inbox: Will Cards buy or sell at Trade Deadline?

ST. LOUIS -- There are no shortage of questions and concerns surrounding the Cardinals, after they tumbled back to six games under .500 with a series loss in Baltimore. Here are my answers to a few of them:

Submit a question to the Cardinals Inbox

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter, and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Are Angels potential Deadline buyers?

Beat reporter Maria Guardado answers questions from fans

Inbox: Are Angels potential Deadline buyers?

With the Angels only [1 1/2] games out of an American League Wild Card spot, will they look to add pitching depth/another bat before the non-waiver Trade Deadline? Who on the roster has trade value?
-- @mcjunkind via Twitter

I think it's possible that the Angels could look for external help if they're still in the AL Wild Card hunt at the Deadline, but their lack of high-end prospect capital makes it unlikely that they'll be able to add any significant pieces via trade. That said, I think the Angels will receive an internal boost to their rotation when left-hander Tyler Skaggs returns from the disabled list. Skaggs, who has been out since May 1 with an oblique strain, is currently on track to rejoin the Angels before the All-Star break and had logged a 1.42 ERA in his last three starts before getting hurt. The Halos also expect right-hander Garrett Richards to pitch again this season, though he still has not received clearance to resume throwing due to an irritated nerve in his right biceps.

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Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Reinforcements on the way to rotation?

Beat reporter Thomas Harding answers questions from Rockies fans

Inbox: Reinforcements on the way to rotation?

DENVER -- This week's Edward Jones Inbox comes at a celebratory time, as Rockies fans take a deep breath after Nolan Arenado's game-winning, cycle-completing homer to for a 7-5 victory over the Giants on Sunday at Coors Field.

I'm pretty sure there is only one question to ask after that. How the heck do ya follow that up!! @MileHiPhil

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Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: How should Yankees handle Tanaka?

Beat reporter Bryan Hoch answers questions from fans

Inbox: How should Yankees handle Tanaka?

What will the Yankees do with Masahiro Tanaka as he continues to struggle? How long will they keep trotting him out there?
-- Mike T., Islip, N.Y.

It really is a mystery. A certain segment of the fan base likes to immediately point to the partially torn ulnar collateral ligament and say, "See? He should have had the surgery," but it's not that simple. To recap, several of the best doctors in the world said that Tanaka did not need surgery, and they were proven right when he pitched with success for years.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: When will Braun be ready to return?

Beat reporter Adam McCalvy answers Brewers' fans questions

Inbox: When will Braun be ready to return?

MILWAUKEE -- Happy Father's Day to Bob McCalvy and the rest of the dads out there. On behalf of misbehaved children everywhere, thank you for all of those hours playing catch in the backyard.

Let's celebrate by dipping into our mailbag:

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Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Will Fisher overtake Aoki to start in left?

Beat reporter Brian McTaggart answers fans' questions

Inbox: Will Fisher overtake Aoki to start in left?

Perhaps the Astros have weathered the worst of the storm. After winning 11 games in a row, Houston lost six of its next eight games before righting the ship with a 13-2 shellacking of Texas on Wednesday.

While the offense appears to be back on track -- with a little help from newcomer Derek Fisher -- injuries to starting pitchers Dallas Keuchel, Lance McCullers Jr. and Joe Musgrove are putting a strain on the rotation and the bullpen.

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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Why did Friars draft catchers so early?

Beat reporter AJ Cassavell answers fans' questions

Inbox: Why did Friars draft catchers so early?

What's with the selection of two catchers in the first three rounds of the Draft?
-- Arvind, San Diego

There's no such thing as too much organizational catching depth. Luis Campusano-Bracero and Blake Hunt were always high on the Padres' Draft board. And when they were both available on Day 1, executive vice president and general manager A.J. Preller jumped at the chance to land the duo.

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AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: What's the best lineup order for Cubs?

Beat reporter Carrie Muskat answers questions from fans

Inbox: What's the best lineup order for Cubs?

Can someone please give manager Joe Maddon this lineup card and ask him to ride it out for two weeks? Jason Heyward, Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber, Addison Russell, Albert Almora Jr., Javier Baez, Willson Contreras and the pitcher.
-- Justin A., Chatham, Ill.

Here's why Maddon would reject it: You've got lefties Heyward and Rizzo back to back, and then right-handed hitters Russell, Almora, Baez and Contreras. One of the things Maddon tries to do with the lineup is alternate left-right-left-right in an effort to counter the other team's bullpen moves.

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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. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Is hot Cutch more likely to be dealt?

Beat reporter Adam Berry answers questions from Bucs fans

Inbox: Is hot Cutch more likely to be dealt?

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates' four-game winning streak ended Wednesday night, but they'll have another chance to crawl back into the National League Central race this weekend as they host the Cubs at PNC Park. With an off-day Thursday, we're taking your questions on Andrew McCutchen, Tony Watson, the Draft and potential callups.

With Cutch hitting so well now, is it more or less likely that he will get traded this season?
-- Andrew A., Pittsburgh

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Does Riddle keep shortstop job?

Beat reporter Joe Frisaro fields Marlins' fans questions

Inbox: Does Riddle keep shortstop job?

With the emergence of JT Riddle, what is the likelihood the Marlins will be looking to trade Adeiny Hechavarria?
-- @josi_elder.

Riddle has stepped in nicely since Hechavarria (left oblique strain) has been on the disabled list. Hechavarria is expected to be evaluated again in the next couple of days, and perhaps could begin a rehab assignment at Class A Advanced Jupiter next weekend. So he could be at least two weeks away. Riddle, meanwhile, has impressed in a small sample size. Hitting eighth isn't easy, yet he has 12 extra-base hits in his first 115 at-bats, and his average exit velocity is 89.07 mph, above the MLB average 87.82. That's a good indicator that he is impacting the baseball. If the team is in rebuild mode by the Trade Deadline, Hechavarria is a candidate to be moved.

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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Why is Taylor starting in center?

Beat reporter Ken Gurnick fields Dodgers fans' questions

Inbox: Why is Taylor starting in center?

With Enrique Hernandez's experience in the outfield, and Chris Taylor's in the infield, why is Taylor continuing to start in center field with Kiké at third base and second base? Not that Taylor isn't holding his own in center, because he surely is.
-- @shayeclubb

There is more playing time available in the current outfield, especially with the absence of the injured Joc Pederson, and Taylor has been a far superior hitter against right-handed pitching than Hernandez. Against righties, Taylor's slash line this year is .280/.374/.477, while Hernandez's is .217/.263/.391. Really no comparison, which is why the Dodgers have gone with Taylor at a skill position despite his lack of experience there, and it's hard to argue with the results so far.

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Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Will Hoffman stay in the rotation?

Beat reporter Thomas Harding answers fans' questions

Inbox: Will Hoffman stay in the rotation?

DENVER -- The Rockies are in first place, with potentially more starting pitchers than rotation spots. What are they going to do if that becomes the case?

The short answer is celebrate.

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Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Who will Taillon replace in rotation?

Beat reporter Adam Berry answers questions from Pirates fans

Inbox: Who will Taillon replace in rotation?

NEW YORK -- Before the Pirates begin a two-game series with the Orioles on Tuesday night, let's open up the Inbox and answer your questions about Jameson Taillon and the rotation, Felipe Rivero, Gerrit Cole and Andrew McCutchen.

I can't believe "Jamo" is pitching so soon after his surgery, but I am glad to see he's close to coming back. I hope he's in good health. What will happen to the rotation when he's back?
-- Jim M., Erie, Pa.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Is Maldonado going to win a Gold Glove?

Beat reporter Maria Guardado answers fans' questions

Inbox: Is Maldonado going to win a Gold Glove?

Is Martin Maldonado the Gold Glove Award winner in the American League at catcher?
@Crudemeisters via Twitter

I think he'll definitely be in the conversation. Maldonado ranks second among AL catchers with three defensive runs saved this season, behind only the Twins' Jason Castro (seven). He has thrown out 10 of 26 basestealers for a caught-stealing percentage of 38 percent, which is tied for ninth in the AL.

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Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: What's needed for Mariners to stay hot?

Beat reporter Greg Johns answers Seattle fans' questions

Inbox: What's needed for Mariners to stay hot?

This year's Mariners have seemed very streaky, as evidenced by their recent hot stretch. What do they need to do to stay on a steady uptick in order to get back in the playoff race over the final four months?
-- Scott A., Snohomish, Wash.

Starting pitching is usually the biggest key to consistency, and the Mariners have obviously had issues there this year, in large part because of injuries. When you're talking about streaks, Seattle went 1-7 and was outscored 50-9 in eight games prior to its current turnaround, when the Mariners have gone 7-1 and outscored their opponents, 57-22.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Time for Tribe to seek pitching help?

Beat reporter Jordan Bastian answers fans' questions

Inbox: Time for Tribe to seek pitching help?

Is it too early to start thinking about trades? With Danny Salazar being moved to the bullpen, is it likelier that the Indians will target starting pitching before the non-waiver Trade Deadline in July?
-- Drew K., Colorado Springs, Colo.

Heading into the season, the rotation did not look like an area of much need. The staff was one of the American League's best last year and there was no turnover for this season. Two months in, Cleveland does look like a team that would at the very least explore rotation upgrades before the non-waiver Deadline.

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Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Can Cespedes jump-start Mets?

Beat reporter Anthony DiComo answers fans' questions

Inbox: Can Cespedes jump-start Mets?

The Mets hope a road trip to Texas and Atlanta, which feature two of Major League Baseball's foremost hitter's parks, will spark them into more consistent winning ways. While they await Tuesday's opener against the Rangers, here's another batch of questions and answers:

Given that the offense has been really good so far, even without him, is Yoenis Cespedes' return really all that consequential?
-- @CobyWanKanobi

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Sanchez best suited in two-hole?

Beat reporter Bryan Hoch answers questions from Yankees fans

Inbox: Sanchez best suited in two-hole?

How long is Joe Girardi going to keep batting Gary Sanchez in the two-hole? I think he should be batting third or behind Aaron Judge.
-- Ryan T., Flagler Beach, Fla.

Having Sanchez hitting second seems to be something that Girardi has committed to, allowing for some occasional fluctuations. That should give Sanchez additional plate appearances over the course of a full season, though it will obviously reduce some of his RBI opportunities.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Who are Rays eyeing with 4th pick?

Beat reporter Bill Chastain answers Tampa Bay fans' questions

Inbox: Who are Rays eyeing with 4th pick?

The Major League Baseball Draft is right around the corner on June 12, and I believe the Rays have their highest pick at No. 4 since they had the first pick of the 2008 Draft. Anyway, I'm wondering if you can give us some names who might be in consideration by the Rays as their top pick.
-- Gene F., Tampa, Fla.

According to MLB.com's latest mock draft, the Rays will be taking Louisville first baseman/left-handed pitcher Brendan McKay. The Twins, Reds and Padres draft ahead of the Rays. Names that I'm hearing will go before McKay include Vanderbilt right-hander Kyle Wright; Hunter Greene, a high school shortstop/right-handed pitcher from Sherman Oaks, Calif.; and MacKenzie Gore, a left-handed high school pitcher from North Carolina.

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Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Will Padres' Rule 5 Draft picks stick?

Beat reporter AJ Cassavell answers fans' questions

Inbox: Will Padres' Rule 5 Draft picks stick?

Can all three Rule 5 Draft guys stay with the Major League team for the entire season?
-- Brian M., San Diego

The Padres wouldn't have kept Luis Torrens, Miguel Diaz and Allen Cordoba around this long if they didn't think they could last through September. It's unprecedented for a team to hang onto three Rule 5 Draft selections through an entire season. But San Diego is on the verge of doing so.

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AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Harper's cool-off cause for concern?

Inbox: Harper's cool-off cause for concern?

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Nationals entered Thursday having won eight of their past 10 games, and after sweeping the Giants this week in San Francisco, they have extended their lead in the National League East to 10 games. So as the team enjoys an off day-during its weeklong stay in the Bay Area, it's time for a Nationals inbox.

We begin with Bryce Harper -- who is serving a three-game suspension for charging the mound and exchanging blows with Giants reliever Hunter Strickland, inciting a benches-clearing fracas -- and whether this short break could help him regain his swing.

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Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Are Tigers going to shuffle rotation?

Beat reporter Jason Beck answers questions from fans

Inbox: Are Tigers going to shuffle rotation?

Any chance the Tigers shuffle the rotation? Matthew Boyd and Jordan Zimmermann are struggling mightily, and Buck Farmer showed he belongs in the big leagues. Move someone to the 'pen?
-- @Defendthed9n

Do you see Matthew Boyd going back to Toledo, and bringing up another starter?
-- @SFHCommissioner

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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Will Cutch bounce back this season?

Beat reporter Adam Berry answers Pirates fans' questions

Inbox: Will Cutch bounce back this season?

With the Pirates enjoying an off-day in New York, it's time to open up the Inbox and answer questions about Andrew McCutchen, Starling Marte, upcoming roster moves, Jung Ho Kang and Josh Bell.

How come an MVP-caliber player (McCutchen) has fallen so far down in his average and caliber of play? Maybe because he cut his hair?
-- Marc T., Pittsburgh

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: How has Simmons deal fared?

Beat reporter Mark Bowman answers questions from fans

Inbox: How has Simmons deal fared?

Please review the Andrelton Simmons trade, and the pitchers the Braves received in return. Seems like the Angels got the better deal.
-- @bmresq1

We really won't get an accurate feel for this trade until some point after the 2018 season, when we have a better feel for Sean Newcomb's capabilities at the big league level, and when Simmons is in the process of making $39 million over the final three seasons of his contract.

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: What should the Reds do with Cozart?

Beat reporter Mark Sheldon answers fans' questions

Inbox: What should the Reds do with Cozart?

Do you think the Reds stick with the plan to trade Zack Cozart or do they attempt to re-sign him?
-- @redsmccurdygal

Cozart has been huge for the Reds this season, and I know they'd hate to lose him in the lineup and the clubhouse. But I think Cincinnati's front office will continue to explore moving him, if there's a deal out there. Few contending teams seem to need a shortstop right now, just like in the offseason.

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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Could Schwarber use a break?

Beat reporter Carrie Muskat answers Cubs fans' questions

Inbox: Could Schwarber use a break?

CHICAGO -- Kyle Schwarber, catchers, tunnels and Bryzzo are among the topics in this week's Cubs Inbox.

Is there a sense that Schwarber's issues are matters of swing mechanics, timing or both? He looks like his knees could use a break, too. Any chance of a 10-day disabled list move based on his knee?
-- Ray L., Gloucester, Mass.

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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. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.