Cubs' hitting woes weighing on coaches

Cubs' hitting woes weighing on coaches

Cubs' hitting woes weighing on coaches
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Cubs' lack of offense affects not just the hitters but the coaching staff as well.

"You take things like this personally," said Cubs manager Dale Sveum, a former hitting coach, "but on the other hand, you know people out in the locker room get paid a lot of money to hit.

"As a hitting coach, you can't stand in the batter's box, you can't swing the bat, you can't do any of those things," Sveum said. "You do have to separate it. At the same time, I've lost sleep over it as well. You take pride in a lot of things and that's one of them, which is trying to get guys to do certain things. On the other hand, you reap the benefits, too, when you go through 10 games and score 80 runs or something like that."

• Entering Monday's game against the Giants, the Cubs have scored 13 earned runs over 95 innings against starting pitchers, who have a combined 1.23 ERA.

"It's probably almost a record to think we've only put one meaningful crooked number up in the nine games," Sveum said, counting the losses to the Astros, Pirates and Giants. "We've put a couple crooked numbers up but the game was already out of hand. That has to be somewhat of a record."

The only meaningful runs came on Alfonso Soriano's three-run homer Friday against the Giants.

• Sveum had mentioned the Cubs might promote top prospect Anthony Rizzo from Triple-A Iowa for the Interleague games at Minnesota and at U.S. Cellular Field against the White Sox when they need a designated hitter. However, expect Soriano to be the DH. And Rizzo?

"Right now, there's no thought of [calling him up]," Sveum said Monday.

• The Cubs signed left-handed pitcher Hong-Chih Kuo, 30, to a Minor League deal. He was with the Mariners this spring before getting released in March. In 2011, Kuo had a 9.00 ERA in 40 appearances and missed time because of an anxiety disorder. He's coming off his fifth elbow surgery, which he had in October 2011. An All-Star in 2010, Kuo will report to the Cubs' extended spring training in Mesa, Ariz.

• Double-A Tennessee manager Buddy Bailey and his staff will lead the North Division in the 2012 U.S. Cellular Southern League All-Star Game on June 19 at Smokies Park.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter@CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.