Byrd not starting; Brewers eye sweep

With a new diet that helped him shed over 20 pounds this offseason, Marlon Byrd surely wasn’t expecting this type of start. With Byrd only managing one hit in his first 21 at-bats of the season and mired in a 0-for-19 slump, Cubs manager Dale Sveum is giving his regular centerfielder the day off on Thursday in favor of Reed Johnson.

“There’s no plan,” Sveum said in response to whether he had any notion to give Byrd an extended rest. “Give him a day, a little breather and hopefully get him on track. He’ll be back in there tomorrow.”

In a season in which the offense was expected to go through some growing pains, Byrd’s slow start was the last thing the Cubs needed. With a slash line of .048/.130/.048 (batting average/on-base percentage/slugging percentage), Byrd is struggling the most out of the Cubs regulars. Only six games into the young season, Byrd can only hope that he’ll get things turned around when the Cubs head to St. Louis to start a three-game set with the defending World Series champion Cardinals on Friday.

Here is the Cubs' lineup:

David DeJesus - RF

Darwin Barney 2B

Starlin Castro - SS

Alfonso Soriano - LF

Ian Stewart - 3B

Bryan LaHair - 1B

Steve Clevenger - C

Reed Johnson - CF

Matt Garza - P