Jason Heyward and his modified swing face first live test Saturday

Manager Joe Maddon will get an up-close look Saturday at the adjustments in Jason Heyward's swing at full speed.Heyward, who lowered his hands and now holds the bat in a vertical position, will attempt to continue the progress Maddon and others have seen...

Jason Heyward and his modified swing face first live test Saturday

Manager Joe Maddon will get an up-close look Saturday at the adjustments in Jason Heyward's swing at full speed.

Heyward, who lowered his hands and now holds the bat in a vertical position, will attempt to continue the progress Maddon and others have seen in batting practice when the Cubs face the Athletics in the exhibition opener at Sloan Park.

"I can see it," Maddon said of Heyward, who launched several home runs onto the berm during Thursday's session at Sloan Park. "(His swing is) a lot freer and the ball is coming off (the bat) hotter.

"It's all about the game, but I'm eager for him. Everyone has talked about all the work he has done all winter. Just (conversing) with him, I sense or feel he's good about it and at a nice peaceful moment with himself. It will be fun to watch. I do anticipate there probably will be some tweaking as they move forward, but I like it."

Heyward, who batted .230 with only seven home runs in 2016, will bat leadoff Saturday against the A's at Sloan Park and is expected to get three at-bats.

Kyle's case: In the split-squad game against the Giants at Scottsdale Stadium, Kyle Schwarber will return to left field for the first time since tearing two ligaments in his left knee April 7.

During Friday's drills on the agility field, Schwarber showed no signs of the injury limiting him. He was sidelines from the beginning of last season until the World Series when he served as a designated hitter and pinch hitter.

"He has been moving and has done a lot of work," Maddon said. "We have our ideas for him not to move so much and have a down day. (But) his leg is great, and his work is special."

Extra innings: The Cubs had a spirited relay drill that pleased Maddon. "The first year we did it (2015), it was kind of like pulling teeth," Maddon said. "Now they look forward to it and know the benefits." … The Cubs will work on bunting early next week.

Caption Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer on Pedro Strop's contract extension

Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer discusses the contract extension of reliever Pedro Strop on Friday, Feb. 24, 2017. (Mark Gonzales/Chicago Tribune)

Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer discusses the contract extension of reliever Pedro Strop on Friday, Feb. 24, 2017. (Mark Gonzales/Chicago Tribune)

Caption Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer on Pedro Strop's contract extension

Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer discusses the contract extension of reliever Pedro Strop on Friday, Feb. 24, 2017. (Mark Gonzales/Chicago Tribune)

Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer discusses the contract extension of reliever Pedro Strop on Friday, Feb. 24, 2017. (Mark Gonzales/Chicago Tribune)

Caption Joe Maddon on the Cubs' relay and bunt drills

Cubs manager Joe Maddon discusses Jason Heyward's progress as well as the team's relay and bunt drills on Feb. 24, 2017, in Mesa, Ariz. (Mark Gonzales/Chicago Tribune)

Cubs manager Joe Maddon discusses Jason Heyward's progress as well as the team's relay and bunt drills on Feb. 24, 2017, in Mesa, Ariz. (Mark Gonzales/Chicago Tribune)

Caption Pedro Strop on signing a 1-year extension with the Cubs

Relief pitcher Pedro Strop discusses his new one-year deal with the Cubs on Feb. 24, 2017, in Mesa, Ariz.

Relief pitcher Pedro Strop discusses his new one-year deal with the Cubs on Feb. 24, 2017, in Mesa, Ariz.

Caption Javier Baez on driving a Polaris three-wheeled sports car

Cubs infielder Javier Baez describes driving a Polaris three-wheeled sports car on Feb. 24, 2017, in Mesa, Ariz. (Mark Gonzales/Chicago Tribune)

Cubs infielder Javier Baez describes driving a Polaris three-wheeled sports car on Feb. 24, 2017, in Mesa, Ariz. (Mark Gonzales/Chicago Tribune)

Caption Anthony Rizzo takes infield practice

Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo practices fielding during spring training on Feb. 23, 2017, in Mesa, Ariz. (Mark Gonzales/Chicago Tribune)

Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo practices fielding during spring training on Feb. 23, 2017, in Mesa, Ariz. (Mark Gonzales/Chicago Tribune)

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