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Cubs’ New Hitting Coach: ‘Talk About Small Things’ That Can Help Players

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Cubs hitting coach James Rowson. (CBS)

Cubs hitting coach James Rowson. (CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – James Rowson is the new king of swing on the North Side.

He joined the Cubs this year as their minor-league hitting coordinator but was quickly promoted to take over for the fired Rudy Jaramillo. He was surprised to get the call.

“I was excited to get it. I love the game, I love the art of hitting,” Rowson tells CBS 2’s Megan Mawicke.

Rowson has been busy learning the hitters and trying to instill his philosophy, but he has a lot of struggling players to try and fix. What is he “driving home” first?

“It’s about getting good pitches to hit and using the whole field. When you talk philosophy … we want to attack strikes for the most part. After that we let these guys’ athletic ability take over,” he says.

But his biggest task is gaining the guys’ trust.

“I talk to them, I get to know them. I really ask them a lot of questions early on (rather than) me telling them what to do,” Rowson says. “They’ve done this a long time. They know how to play this game, they know how to hit. From there, kind of maybe we talk about small things that can help them.”

Members of the Cubs are impressed so far.

“It’s easy to have relationships with someone like him,” Cubs second baseman Darwin Barney says. “He’s vocal, easy to talk to. He loves hitting, he loves talking hitting.”

“He’s not afraid to talk to big-league hitters, not jump on them, but say, ‘Hey, this is what you have to do,’” Cubs manager Dale Sveum says.

The offensive numbers aren’t great for the Cubs, but Rowson just took over.

So what is the goal for this year?

“Our goal is to take it one day at a time and expect to be great,” Rowson says. “That’s our goal. Every day were going to come. We’re going to be prepared, and we’re going to expect to do big things. If we have one bad day we’re going to forget about it and move to the next one.”

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