CHICAGO -- Last year, Nate Schierholtz set career highs in home runs, doubles, RBIs and games played. This season, the Cubs outfielder hasn't been able to match those numbers.
Schierholtz was not in Sunday's lineup in the series finale against the Brewers and right-hander Marco Estrada. In 36 games, Schierholtz was batting .197 with five doubles, no home runs and 13 RBIs.
"I think his at-bats have actually been better," Cubs manager Rick Renteria said. "We haven't had the results we wanted. I think just continue to give him a little breath and step back. He's doing everything he can to stay in the lineup. The results haven't been what he wanted, but he's looked a lot better."
A year ago, Schierholtz was batting .286 on May 18, and had hit five home runs. What's also puzzling is that the left-handed hitter is batting .250 (7-for-28) against southpaw pitchers and .182 (18-for-99) against right-handers.
"He's been around a long time," Renteria said. "He knows himself. He had a very nice year last year in terms of home runs. Those are things that happen in the course of a season. I don't think he's going to try to do the same thing he did last year. I think he just wants to go out there and have good at-bats, put the barrel on the ball. He can't really worry about that."
The Cubs aren't getting much production from their outfielders this season, and were tied with the Phillies for the fewest home runs (six) in the National League heading into Sunday's games.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less