CEDAR RAPIDS - Ryan Sweeney didn't want to go back down to the minor leagues, but that's the way it worked out. At least he wasn't there very long.
The Cedar Rapids Xavier graduate was recalled Monday by the Chicago Cubs from the Triple-A Iowa Cubs. It was immediately uncertain if the 28-year-old outfielder would be in the starting lineup for Monday night's game at Wrigley Field against the Texas Rangers.
Sweeney was released late in spring training by the Boston Red Sox and signed to a minor-league free-agent deal by Chicago. He hit .337 in 23 games (83 at-bats) for the I-Cubs, with six home runs and 16 RBIs.
Those were the first games in the minors for Sweeney since he played nine in the 2008 season.
"It's a good feeling," Sweeney told the Des Moines Register. "I put in some hard work down here, and, hopefully, I'll get up there and transfer it over."
Sweeney flew into Chicago on Monday morning, after finding out late Sunday afternoon he was headed back to the bigs. He was removed in the sixth inning of the second game of Iowa's home double-header.
“I’m ready to go,” he told the Register. “Nobody wants to come back here, but I tried to make the best of it and get back there as quickly as I can.”
Sweeney is a career .280 hitter in the major leagues. He has played parts of seven seasons (535 games) with the Chicago White Sox, Oakland Athletics and Red Sox, amassing 1,900 at-bats. He has dealt with injuries throughout his career, including last season, when he played in just 63 games with Boston.“I just came here and showed that I’m healthy, that I can play every day and put together good at-bats,” Sweeney told the Register.