7/21 Lunch date

Cubs hitting coach Von Joshua and Kyosuke Sasaki had lunch on Tuesday, and the topic was Kosuke Fukudome. Sasaki was Fukudome’s hitting coach in Japan, and he’s visiting his star pupil this week. What Joshua and Lou Piniella are looking for are any tips to help the Japanese outfielder avoid falling into a second half slump like he did last year.

Piniella wants Fukudome to work on using the whole field, and notes that he’s better when he can go to left center or right center rather than trying to pull the ball.

“Both [this year and last] he got off to real good starts, and last year, he got himself into a fall and was never able to put the brakes on it,” Piniella said. “This year, he’s starting to stabilize. I think he’s got a good chance between now and the end of the year to raise his batting average. The important thing is he’s feeling more confident and he’s feeling better about himself and he has another year of experience here, too, which helps.”

— Carrie Muskat


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