Kosuke Fukudome has been sliding terribly. This, we all know. But at least he’s trying to work with coaches and instructors to turn things around – in fact, he’s bringing his Japanese hitting coach out to work on his swing.

Kosuke Fukudome’s Japanese hitting coach, Kyosuke Sasaki, rejoined his star pupil in hopes of getting the Cubs’ outfielder back on track.

For the third straight season, Fukudome began well, batting .344 in April, but he hit .253 in May and was 5-for-27 (.185) this month.

“He doesn’t look bad at all,” said Sasaki, who watched Fukudome during an early batting-practice session at Wrigley Field on Tuesday.

Sasaki will be in Chicago for 10 days, and it will give him and Fukudome a chance to do some extra work in the batting cage. The two spent time together this offseason and again in Spring Training. Fukudome was not in Tuesday’s lineup against the Oakland Athletics, replaced by rookie Tyler Colvin in right field.

“We’re giving ‘Fuke’ a little time off,” Cubs manager Lou Piniella said Tuesday. “He’s been struggling a little bit. With the hitting coach coming in, we’ll give him a chance to work with him. It gives me a chance to play Colvin, too. We’ll see what happens in the next few days.” cubs.com.

Given that Fukudome works with Sasaki in the offseason, and comes into each season like a man on fire, perhaps working with Sasaki during the season will help Fukudome. At a minimum, maybe it can make him more attractive to potential trade partners.




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