Extra bases

Extra bases

Extra bases
• Since James Rowson took over as the Cubs hitting coach, manager Dale Sveum has seen some differences in the players' approach.

"There's definitely been a change," Sveum said. "You see it a little bit on a daily basis. It's not an easy job and it's not easy to change people's minds and change hitting. Guys have a lot of habits and they're not easy to change."

Rowson was the Cubs Minor League hitting instructor and took over June 12 for Rudy Jaramillo, who was dismissed.

"The good thing about James is he's not afraid to talk to big league hitters, and not jump on them but say, 'Hey, this is what you have to do and some things have to change,'" Sveum said.

• The other Cubs Minor Leaguers can learn from Anthony Rizzo's promotion. The message is: You've got to earn it.

"You're not going to promote people for a .220 average and 30 home runs," Sveum said. "That's not what we want to create here. We want to create quality hitters and keep the line moving. Today's one day when the wind is blowing out, and there are a lot of days when the wind is blowing in."

One player the Cubs are keeping an eye on is Brett Jackson. He's already struck out more than 100 times at Triple-A Iowa.

"It's very alarming," Sveum said. "It's almost a strange occurrence how many there are. Even if he's 3-for-5, the outs are strikeouts. Last night, there were three more. He's on pace to strike out 200 times in a Minor League season, which is not easy to do."

Sveum likes Jackson's bat speed, his quickness, his athleticism, and he's put together some great at-bats.

"It's got to get better," Sveum said.