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Barney still looking to get into swing of things

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CHICAGO -- Last fall, Darwin Barney went to Mesa to spend a week with Cubs manager Dale Sveum and hitting coach James Rowson to work on his swing. Apparently, they're still working.

Barney entered Saturday's game against the Reds batting .179 overall, and was 3-for-14 in his last five games.

"We all know Barney, he's always working and trying," Sveum said Saturday of the second baseman. "I think he needs to stick with one thing and go with that. There's a lot of changing going on every single day."

What does Sveum want to see? He laughed.

"A lot of things," Sveum said. "We don't have enough time for it."

Apparently, Barney abandoned the changes suggested in Spring Training. The problem is more mechanical than Barney's approach.

"The bat head has got to get to a certain point quicker, so to speak," Sveum said. "It's a lot of mechanical [things] -- the back side needs to be better. He's been good lately laying off pitches and getting his walks, but we all know there's that fine line [about being aggressive], and then you get too deep and you're 0-2 and missed two really good pitches to hit.

"There's a lot of process that goes into all of this. Being able to hit the fastball is the No. 1 thing you have to be able to do to be successful in the big leagues."

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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