Stubbs Trying To Cut Ks

Can Stubbs make more contact in 2012?

Manager Dusty Baker has some ideas for making Drew Stubbs a more effective hitter, but he's keeping them between himself and his strikeout-prone center fielder.

Stubbs struck out twice Sunday during the Reds' 8-1 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers, leaving him with a single-season franchise-record 197 K's. He was tied with Adam Dunn going into the game. Dunn set the previous record of 195 in 2004.

"You don't like that stat," Baker said. "Sometimes, you've got to hit the bottom or be close to the bottom in order to make some changes and try different things."

Baker, who never struck out more than 89 times in a season during a 19-year career in which he batted .278, believes Stubbs can make more consistent contact.

"I've got a few ideas," Baker said. "I'd rather tell him. We've told him a lot of stuff this year. Sometimes, it's difficult to try things during the season. You look at ballplayers over the course of their careers. Carl Yastrzemski and Cal Ripken Jr. must have had 15 different stances."

Baker pointed out that Stubbs' season offers indications of just how effective he could be at the plate. The 26-year-old center fielder, who was hitting .247, had a shot at 40 stolen bases and 100 runs scored despite all of the turnaround trips to the plate.

"The skill is there, big-time," Baker said. "Sometimes it gets difficult for everybody to wait on that evolution or wait on that change, or when that beacon of lights comes on (as to) what to do and how to do it. It would be a tremendous thing if he got 40 stolen bases, hit .250 or more and scored 100. I find that quite remarkable for the struggles that he's had."

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