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Olt homering, but carrying high strikeout rate

PHILADELPHIA -- The Cubs know what they have in Mike Olt.

The classic all-or-nothing hitter, 10 of Olt's 22 hits this season have left the yard. The right-handed-hitting third baseman is on pace for 35 home runs and a .152 batting average.

"We know we have a guy that when he barrels the ball, can obviously drive it," Cubs manager Rick Renteria said. "But he is still a young man that's working on who he is."

The 25-year-old's power potential continues to justify his spot in the lineup. Olt didn't make the start at third base on Sunday in the Cubs' 3-0 win with righty A.J. Burnett on the mound for Philly, but Renteria will continue to plug his slugger into the order whenever he sees an advantageous situation.

"We're still trying to find a way to give him an opportunity to match up against certain guys to see if we can continue to elevate that confidence," Renteria said.

Olt has 60 strikeouts in 145 at-bats this season. While that rate leaves a lot to be desired, Renteria said he isn't worried.

"I'm more concerned that his approaches in good hitters' counts are good," Renteria said. "Because we know when he swings the bat, there's a chance for something good to happen."

Erik Bacharach is an associate reporter for
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