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Rizzo working to break out of slump

CHICAGO -- As he tries to battle through an early batting slump, Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo has gone back to the basics.

A combination of video and cage work are part of his process as he works with the team’s hitting coaches.

“I have to go with the approach I had in Triple-A,” said Rizzo, who has four hits in his last 25 at-bats. “I need to take a lot of those fastballs I am seeing to left field. Also must gear up for the changeup and take them up the middle.”

Getting used to pitchers throwing their best stuff after seeing average pitching during spring is an adjustment Rizzo and his teammates are going through. The Cubs entered Tuesday’s game hitting .184 as a team.

“They have to adjust to the charts, videos and reports like we get from our scouts,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said.

Sveum said the information data is so good that pitchers just repeat pitches to hitters until the hitter shows an adjustment. Rizzo and his teammates are battling those reports as well as the wacky weather conditions at Wrigley in April.

“One game, one pitch can change everything for a hitter,” Rizzo said. “The way I like to approach it is that every at-bat is its own unique opportunity to go out there and do something really good. It is too early to get locked into being too results-based yet. You obviously want the results but you must do your job in every at-bat and deal with what every situation dictates.”

Rizzo did hit a home run on the first pitch he saw on opening day in Pittsburgh. He hit his second home run in Atlanta on April 6, also on a first pitch.