CINCINNATI -- Tyler Colvin has not had a hit in the big leagues since he singled in the seventh inning on April 28 in Arizona. He's 0-for-31 in his last 14 games, although he did collect 13 hits from May 17-31 when he was optioned to Triple-A Iowa.
On Tuesday, Colvin was not in the Cubs' starting lineup, ending a string of five straight starts. He's batting .086, but he's not panicking. He isn't changing his stance or grip. The problem isn't physical.
"It's one of those things where I don't have to hit the ball 800 feet, and that's what was in my head early in the year," Colvin said Tuesday. "I had 20 homers [last year] and I was thinking I'm going to get them all in the first month, and you're not.
"Last year, I hit line drives and sometimes they went out. It took me awhile to see that, and now I'm hitting balls hard and I can't find a hole. They'll start falling. I'm not worried about it."
His teammates are sympathetic.
"[Darwin Barney] came over to me yesterday and he said, 'Man, you hit a line drive short-hop to the shortstop and I hit a chopper off the plate and get a hit,'" Colvin said. "You know that's what baseball is and you can't be this bad, and it'll turn around and my hits will start falling."
What Cubs manager Mike Quade wants to see are good at-bats, and he has.
"The talent is there," Quade said of Colvin. "Obviously, if we knew what the problem was completely, we'd solve it and move on and live happily ever after. As tough a situation as we're in as a club, he's been in that all year. I think he understands some of it and, as a young player, he still has a lot to learn and figure out."
It's tough to be consistent at the big league level.
"[The pitchers] know me and the last few guys I've seen, I faced them a lot last year so I know them as well," Colvin said. "I've gotten good pitches to hit and I've hit them hard. Hitting is tough, and you're not going to find a hole all the time. They'll start dropping."
He hits early, and works with hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo.
"Even last year, my goal was to hit at least two balls hard a game," Colvin said. "I've been doing that the last few games. They'll start falling."
Marmol learning art of pitch selection
CINCINNATI -- Carlos Marmol does possess a nasty slider, and when it's working the Cubs closer can be unhittable. But does he rely on it too much?
Cubs manager Mike Quade said he feels Marmol has more confidence in his slider, which is why he throws it more than his fastball.
"The guy out there throwing that day has a feel for a particular pitch," Quade said.
Pitch selection was a hot topic after Sunday's game in St. Louis when Marmol wanted to throw a slider to Ryan Theriot, who hit a game-tying RBI double in the ninth. The Cardinals eventually won on Albert Pujols' walk-off home run.
Cubs catcher Koyie Hill had called for a fastball to Theriot, but Marmol shook him off. Quade said he hopes that was a learning experience for Marmol, who is in his third season as the closer.
"He has to consider what took place and learn from it and move on, and I think he's done that," Quade said.
Kosuke Fukudome's .417 on-base percentage is keeping him in the leadoff spot, although Cubs manager Mike Quade said he considered inserting Tony Campana on Tuesday to try and get the offense going.
"Ultimately, when push came to shove today, you know what, we have to keep setting tables and get guys to drive in runs, and [driving in runs] has not been [Fukudome's] forte," Quade said.
Campana fits the leadoff man role because of his speed.
"His game is to create havoc wherever he can do it, and obviously it would be great to have him do it at the top of the lineup," Quade said of the rookie outfielder. "But it's tough to take [Fukudome] out of that comfort area right now."
Marlon Byrd hopes to be taking batting practice on the field Sunday or Monday. Byrd is recovering from multiple facial fractures suffered when he was hit by a pitch on May 21 in Boston.
"I just have to stay away from jarring it," said Byrd, who has started hitting in the batting cage.
Angel Guzman, who had shoulder surgery in March 2010, was added to Class A Peoria's roster on Tuesday. Guzman had been rehabbing in Mesa, Ariz. The plan is for him to throw two innings every fifth day.
DJ LeMahieu, promoted to the Cubs on May 30 from Double-A Tennessee, was named to the Southern League All-Star team. Twelve Smokies were named to the game, to be played June 21. LeMahieu probably won't mind skipping the festivities and staying with the big league team.
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.