Too soon to get concerned over a slow start by a hitter?
Probably. But veteran Marlon Byrd's season-opening funk already has him bumped down from the No. 7 to No. 8 spot in the order, and if he's dropped any more, he's on the bench.
``Mechanically, he's just got to get a little bit more linear,'' manager Dale Sveum said of the center fielder who hasn't had a hit since his second at-bat of the season.
Linear? If that can be interpreted as line drive, Byrd definitely needs more of it. His only line drive in 23 plate appearance through the seventh inning Wednesday was that single to left on Opening Day.
Since then, he's 0-for-19 with only two balls hit out of the infield.
``It's still early yet,'' Sveum said. ``Some guys get going a little bit later than other guys. We've got to be a little bit better against right-handed pitching, that's the bottom line. Our right-handed hitters, we have to take what the pitcher's giving us. They've got to be better at that on the outer part of the plate.''
As for when the first-year Cubs manager thinks it's time for concern over a season-starting slump, ``You don't put a time limit on it,'' he said.
``There's a time where there's got to be adjustments made. Whether that's a week, two weeks, three weeks, four weeks, the bottom line is production is what this job's all about. We've got to make adjustments. That's how people survive in the big leagues.''
Sveum suggested a day or two on the bench could benefit a struggling veteran, allowing him time to focus only on extra batting practice.
``But those are all decisions based on how things are going,'' he said, ``how the rest of the team winds up as well.''