More Help for Pie

The Cubs have enlisted yet more help for centerfielder Felix Pie, who has struggled at the plate.

Dave Keller, the organization's minor league hitting coordinator, is in Chicago and he'll accompany the team to Colorado for the two-game series that begins Wednesday.

Keller has worked with Pie throughout Pie's time in the system. He said the most important and difficult thing for a young player such as Pie is "getting the body in position to repeat" the necessary motions to hit well.

The initial results were encouraging for Pie and the Cubs.

Pie entered Monday batting .143 with an on-base percentage of .200 with no home runs and 11 strikeouts. But he hit a three-run homer in the eighth inning to help break open a 7-1 victory over the Mets.

Manager Lou Piniella insisted the changes the Cubs want to make with Pie are "elementary" and not drastic. They consist of having Pie stride through the ball and shift his weight forward instead of having him simply plant his front (right) foot and hit off his "back side."

Piniella added that Pie is likely to start Tuesday afternoon's finale against the Mets. Reed Johnson has started six straight games in center, with Pie being used as a defensive replacement.

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