Troy Renck tweeted this a few minutes ago:
@TroyRenck No stewart on lineup card appears he has been optioned. Let you know more soon
Stewart's off to an AWFUL start this year, batting a mere .077/.143/.077, with 2 singles (one a bunt and one a grounder that made it past the shift) and 2 walks. More disturbingly, Stewart has struck out in 11 of his 28PA. Things have been looking slightly better lately, but he needs more playing time to work out his swing.
We'd heard rumblings of this the past few days, but Jim Tracy was insistent that he wanted Stewart to work things out at a Major League level.
It's a maybe at this point, and Troy Renck is digging to get to the bottom of it.
@TroyRenck Stewart locker cleaned out. He's been optioned. Don't know corresponding move. Mortensen still here. So could be position player
Mortensen doesn't make much sense to stay, as he won't be available to pitch again until this weekend. I wonder if there's any implications for Esmil Rogers.
When asked about reasons for Stewart's demotion, Manager Jim Tracy had these comments for Troy Renck:
@TroyRenck Tracy said Stewart's timing and mechanics are out of sync and he needs to get bunch of at-bats
@TroyRenck Tracy said "he has not been right w swing. I am very hopeful that he Can get it back and get him back here"
I have very little doubt that Stewart won't be able to find SOMETHING that will outperform Lopez and Wigginton while down in the Springs. While definitely a flawed batter, Stewart's plus defense and career .770 OPS suggest that he's at absolute LEAST a slightly-below 3B, with the upside to be a 30-40 HR hitter.
Recently, players sent to the Springs to work things out, such as Chris Iannetta and Dexter Fowler have rebounded nicely upon returning to the majors. Here's hoping the same is true for Stewart.