Olt sent to Triple-A to work on hitting stroke

Olt sent to Triple-A to work on hitting stroke

CHICAGO -- Mike Olt told Cubs officials he got into some bad habits at the plate, and on Wednesday, he was headed to Triple-A Iowa to try to get back on track.

Olt was sent down to the Minor Leagues after the Cubs' game on Tuesday, in which he went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. That game happened to mark the one-year anniversary of the Cubs acquiring the third baseman from the Rangers in the Matt Garza deal.

Olt was batting .139 in 72 games, but did lead all National League rookies with 12 home runs. He also has struck out 84 times in 187 at-bats.

"He acknowledged he's gotten into a few bad habits at the plate, and bad habits that he couldn't break out of at the big league level," Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said Wednesday. "I think playing every day down there will be good for him.

"We think he has a chance to right himself just by playing every day and being more relaxed and taking some of the things he's practicing in the cage into the game with him and right himself and get back up here," Epstein said. "I think it was the appropriate move at the appropriate time."

Cubs manager Rick Renteria also met with Olt.

"He wants to get back on track," Renteria said. "I think he felt pretty comfortable about what we were going to try to do and get him as many at-bats as we possibly can."

The Cubs have top prospect Kris Bryant at third base at Iowa, and Olt will play first and also be the designated hitter. He was driving from Chicago to Des Moines on Wednesday, and expected to play Thursday.

"He wants to get down there and work," Renteria said. "He wants to get better."

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.