Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Chris De Luca and Gordon Wittenmyer

Early slump? Cubs' Byrd is the word

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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.''

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4 Comments

Sveum better wake up .. Byrd has been errible since thr last half of last year ..

We should get rid of him. Worthless .. Bring up Jackson and the other highly regarded player we sent down with Jackson .

Give me offense anytime NOT
Byrd and Soto .. How many guys already have these 2 left on .

is sveum afraid of these vets .. Looks like it ..sit them and start developing the AAA guys .

Im already sick of Byrd and soto !!!

Makes Dave Sappelt look pretty good right now!

IF the cubs sit strike out king Soto and Byrd we have a chance to score.. Marmol is NOT the old Marmol .. WE nned a closer that can throw strikes and NOT walk people.. Marmaol doesnt have the luxury of walking people NOW like he always has ..

Common Braun bring up Jackson to play center andf leave Clevenger behind the plate .. Clevenger can hit and throw .. Wake up

BYrd is a Hara millo disciple .. LOTS good its doing.. Everybody thats comes to comes like last years 1st baseman struggle. THis hitting coach is BAD .

Look at byrd worst swing I ever saw and he is the main follower of the batting coach Haramillo ..BAD

Byrd will probably come around, but the Cubs look pretty anemic offensively so far. Their first three starters are pitching well , but after that things go rapidly downhill. No offensive support and no solid bullpen add up to a fairly miserable year thus far. I am usually a die-hard but I feel faint already this year. Maybe they can turn things around and at least be competitive, but "bleak" seems to me to be the watchword for this season.

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This page contains a single entry by Gordon Wittenmyer published on April 11, 2012 3:03 PM.

Sveum: Cubs' Clevenger ``valuable weapon'' was the previous entry in this blog.

Epstein: Cubs' season won't influence plans with Garza is the next entry in this blog.

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