1/15 Pena to work with Rudy

Carlos Pena will get to work on his swing next week with hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo. Pena, who signed a one-year, $10 million contract in December with the Cubs, will go to Dallas to work with Jaramillo immediately after the Cubs Convention ends Sunday. The free agent is coming off a disappointing season in which he batted .196.

“It’s just getting back to basics,” Pena said of what he wants to accomplish in his sessions with Jaramillo.

The two were together briefly in Texas. Pena was the Rangers’ first round pick in 1998 and played briefly in 2001 with the big league team. The 2010 season was Jaramillo’s first in Chicago after 15 seasons with the Rangers.

“We’ll get acquainted again,” Pena said. “I’m anxious to get it going.”

Pena called Jaramillo the day he signed with the Cubs. The hitting coach has looked at video of the first baseman this winter. Despite the low batting average, Pena did hit 28 homers and drove in 84 runs for the Rays in 2010. He said last season was his toughest to deal with personally but sees nothing but positives.

“I’m happy I went through the struggles I went through last year because it makes me stronger,” he said. “Today, the Cubs are getting a better player because of it.”

– Carrie Muskat

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