5/11 Rudy wants more swagger

Rudy Jaramillo wants to see a little swagger. The Cubs hitting coach challenged the players on Friday. They are 10-7 in their last 17 games dating to April 21, and batting .254 in that stretch with 13 of their season total 18 home runs in that stretch. Bryan LaHair has carried the team, batting .384 with a team-high eight home runs.

“Players are so superstitious,” Jaramillo said. “It’s kind of like a ritual — you remember how you put your uniform on the day before and then maybe you change your socks or you try to do something different. What happens, too, is they try to do something different with their swing and try to change it, but really you have to go back to your mentality and change that.”

What he wants to see is some swagger and players being aggressive and attacking.

“We get in between mentally at the plate when you’re struggling because you’re worried about mechanics, you’re worried about what pitch, so there’s no concentration, no plan or approach,” he said. “The way you get out of it is to go up there and be aggressive so you don’t get that in between thinking, and attack. [Tell yourself] ‘I’m going to attack and get a good pitch and hit it hard.’ That’s how you get out of it, basically.”

Which is what he told the players.

“I said, ‘Hey, I don’t want to hear about mechanics, I don’t want to hear about anything,'” Jaramillo said. “‘I want you to attack the ball and be aggressive and then you don’t think about being in between.’ and we had a great session.”

— Carrie Muskat


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