So Close, Yet So Far for Yuber

According to Lansing Lugnuts manager Gary Cathcart, Yuber Rodriguez is, in one word, frustrating.

"Yuber is a very frustrating player because he has so much talent athletically, and he's right on the edge of getting where we want to get it, and then he takes another step back," said Cathcart. "So, its up to him, he knows what he needs to do."

The Blue Jays drafted the Maracay Venezuela native as a free agent in 2000. Then in 2004 he was named player of the year in Pulaski. However, since then things have not gone as well as Yuber would've liked.

"I think Yuber would be the first guy to tell you that since his 2004 season in Pulaski, things haven't gone as well for him as he would've liked them to," said Cathcart, who coached Yuber during that season.

Cathcart said he and Yuber had a good relationship during that 2004 season because he saw some of himself in Yuber young talent.

"He has a lot of physical ability, he has all the physical tools that he needs," said Cathcart.

Rodriguez is a solid center fielder. He has confidence in his defense and his speed. However, it is his offensive game that he would like to improve on.

"I don't feel good right now, offensively," said Rodriguez. "I can't stay back on my hitting and cant concentrate"

Rodriguez also said he and hitting Coach Charles Poe are doing exercises to help him keep his foot back, so he can see the ball better.

"He has trouble lying off that high fastball," said Cathcart.

Rodriguez is currently batting .236, with six stolen bases. On May 28 2007 Rodriguez was named MID player of the week for his offensive performance. However, he has hit only one more home run since then.

"The main thing I would like to see him do, is be a little more consistent," said Cathcart.

Cathcart's advice to Yuber is to get out of his own way.

"Sometimes he wants to do so well so badly, that he puts too much pressure on himself," said Cathcart.

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