Suspended Russell to begin Triple-A stint as return to Cubs nears

Reuters

Chicago Cubs shortstop Addison Russell is scheduled to join Triple-A Iowa on Wednesday as he works his way back from a 40-game suspension due to violations of Major League Baseball's domestic-abuse policy.

USA Today reported that Russell will spend one week with Iowa. He is eligible to play in a major league game on May 3 when the Cubs host the St. Louis Cardinals.

Russell received a 40-game suspension after now ex-wife Melisa Reidy detailed allegations of physical, mental and emotional abuse on her blog last September. He served the first 12 games at the end of the 2018 regular season and is sitting out the first 28 games this season.

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Russell, 25, understands he will be the target of boo-birds and venom once he returns to the majors.

He told USA Today he speaks to a counselor at least twice a week and that getting a break from the baseball world turned out to be a great thing as it allowed him time to work on making changes.

"I feel like overcoming this challenge has made me much more self-aware," Russell told USA Today. "It has taught me to slow things down, reflect, and be a better person. It's given me a lot of insight on what kind of person I am, and what my goals are moving forward. I can sit back and play baseball, and still reflect and be thankful for the life I live.

"We live and we learn. We're not going to do things right the first time every single time. I know I didn't. But the big thing is keep pushing things forward and keep that positive energy going."

Russell said he has apologized to Reidy for his actions. He is now looking forward to resuming his big league career and he feels it will be an emotional day.

"It's going to hit me," Russell said. "It's going to hit me hard."

Russell has a .242 career average with 51 homers and 230 RBIs in 533 career games with the Cubs from 2015-18. He was an All-Star in 2016 when he established career highs of 21 homers and 95 RBIs.

Also, Chicago placed infielder David Bote on the paternity list and recalled left-hander Randy Rosario from Iowa.

Bote is batting .295 with one homer and nine RBIs in 19 games, while Rosario -- who was optioned to the Triple-A affiliate two days ago -- has a 5.14 ERA in seven appearances with the Cubs.

--Field Level Media

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