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Maddon looks to simplify Chatwood's approach

Cubs right-hander lasts 2 2/3 innings in back-to-back starts
MLB.com @CarrieMuskat

PITTSBURGH -- Cubs manager Joe Maddon has some suggestions on how to get Tyler Chatwood back on track, focusing on simplifying things for the right-hander, who leads the Major Leagues in walks and has lasted 2 2/3 innings in each of his past two starts.

"We have some ideas," Maddon said Monday. "Do simple better. Try to simplify everything mechanically, physically and try to give him some mental skill stuff to deal with. Everybody is looking for the mechanical panacea, and I'm here to tell you it's the mental panacea that you really should be in search of. We're going to try to combine different methods in the workout and see how it works in the next game."

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PITTSBURGH -- Cubs manager Joe Maddon has some suggestions on how to get Tyler Chatwood back on track, focusing on simplifying things for the right-hander, who leads the Major Leagues in walks and has lasted 2 2/3 innings in each of his past two starts.

"We have some ideas," Maddon said Monday. "Do simple better. Try to simplify everything mechanically, physically and try to give him some mental skill stuff to deal with. Everybody is looking for the mechanical panacea, and I'm here to tell you it's the mental panacea that you really should be in search of. We're going to try to combine different methods in the workout and see how it works in the next game."

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One option may be to have Chatwood, 28, work out of the stretch from the beginning. Whatever the Cubs do, they will not force Chatwood to make any changes he's not comfortable with.

"You don't ask or make them do anything," Maddon said. "You always get suggestions. My suggestion would be to consider that."

On Sunday night, Chatwood got into a bases-loaded jam in the second inning with nobody out against the Giants. Catcher Willson Contreras came out and gave the right-hander an animated pep talk. Chatwood then struck out the next two batters and got Brandon Crawford to fly out and escape the mess.

"He kind of laid into me a little bit and I fired back at him," Chatwood said of the conversation. "We got out of bases loaded, no outs, so it worked.

"Maybe we should do that in the dugout before we head out there," he said, chuckling.

What Maddon saw was a change in approach by Chatwood.

"I thought that last inning, what I liked better was that he pitched more," Maddon said. "I want to get him out of this throwing mode where he goes fastball, fastball, fastball, where it's almost like a blunt object. [He needs to] finesse a little bit more."

And Maddon had no problem with Contreras' approach.

"I have no issues with it," Maddon said.

Extra bases
• Outfielder Ian Happ came off the bench as a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning on Monday and struck out. He did not start Sunday night because of soreness in his right shoulder, which he incurred trying to catch Andrew McCutchen's ball in the fifth inning on Saturday.

"I just pinched it on that dive, and I'm good to go," Happ said.

• The Cubs added a fresh arm to the bullpen on Monday, recalling right-hander Luke Farrell from Triple-A Iowa. Right-hander Justin Hancock was optioned to make room.

The Cubs wanted some depth with Mike Montgomery switching from the bullpen to the rotation for the first time this season as they shuffle the rotation to make up for the absence of Yu Darvish.

This is the second stint with the Cubs for Farrell, 26. He went 1-2 with a 7.94 ERA in six relief outings during his first turn.

Hancock, 27, had a 1.74 ERA in seven relief appearances with the Cubs this year.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat.

Chicago Cubs, Tyler Chatwood