ATLANTA - Whether Ian Stewart is the Cubs' third baseman next year, he won't be for the rest of this one.
Confirming what Stewart tweeted early Monday morning, the team says Stewart will undergo exploratory arthroscopic surgery next week in Cleveland in an effort to finally diagnose and effectively treat a left wrist injury that has bothered him for a year - and might go back to a compression fracture suffered in the minors in 2006.
Stewart, who was an offensive disappointment since being acquired from Colorado in a four-player trade last winter that included outfielder Tyler Colvin, is expected to miss the rest of the season.
Whether he returns as next year's Opening Day third baseman involves more than the health of the wrist.
``He's got all the ability to do it,'' manager Dale Sveum said. ``But I'd like to see some adjustments in the swing, whether it was the hand or not. There still needs to be some adjustments.''
Stewart hit just .201 with five homers and 17 RBIs in 55 games for the Cubs - just .183 with the five homers and 23 RBIs in 301 at-bats over the last two seasons with the Cubs and Rockies.
``But the defense is something that you'll always want,'' Sveum said, ``and the power and the athleticism he brings - there's just not many around anymore at third base that have those kind of attributes. But we've got to get better than what we've been thelast 300 at-bats in the big leagues.''