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updated: 6/21/2014 10:58 PM

Cubs still have faith in struggling Olt

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  • Chicago Cubs' Anthony Rizzo watches his two-run home run during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Chicago, Saturday, June 21, 2014.

      Chicago Cubs' Anthony Rizzo watches his two-run home run during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Chicago, Saturday, June 21, 2014.
    Associated Press

  • The tarp covers the infield as rain delays the start of a baseball game between the Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Saturday, June 21, 2014.

      The tarp covers the infield as rain delays the start of a baseball game between the Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Saturday, June 21, 2014.
    Associated Press

  • Fans look on during a rain delay at Wrigley Field before a baseball game between the Chicago Cubs and the Pittsburgh Pirates in Chicago, Saturday, June 21, 2014.

      Fans look on during a rain delay at Wrigley Field before a baseball game between the Chicago Cubs and the Pittsburgh Pirates in Chicago, Saturday, June 21, 2014.
    Associated Press

  • Chicago Cubs third baseman Mike Olt throws out Pittsburgh Pirates' Russell Martin after fielding Martin's sacrifice bunt during the second inning of a baseball game on Friday, June 20, 2014, in Chicago.

      Chicago Cubs third baseman Mike Olt throws out Pittsburgh Pirates' Russell Martin after fielding Martin's sacrifice bunt during the second inning of a baseball game on Friday, June 20, 2014, in Chicago.
    Associated Press

 
 

For the second day in a row, questions arose about the status of Cubs third baseman Mike Olt.

On Friday, team president Theo Epstein said he believes the major-league level is the right place for Olt. That was before Olt struck out three times in Friday's game, dropping his batting line to .149/.230/.364.

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What's more, Olt has 65 strikeouts over 174 plate appearances for a strikeout rate of 37.4 percent.

Manager Rick Renteria went to bat for Olt on Saturday.

"I think that we can't panic," Renteria said. "If they (the players) see panic in us or if they see concern in us, it reflects on them. Quite frankly, we're not concerned about him. We just want to make sure he continues get opportunities in the best situations that he can have, hopefully a chance to succeed, continue to prepare every single day and be ready."

Asked why he felt Olt is better off in the majors, Renteria cited instruction. The Cubs also just promoted top prospect Kris Bryant to Class AAA Iowa to play third base. Christian Villanueva went from Iowa to Class AA Tennessee to continue playing third.

"Right now at this point he's got good instruction," Renteria said of Olt. "We all feel that can all continue to try and help him develop what he needs to here. It's a fine line. There's a balance. If you feel someone is really getting to be emotionally taxed or if you think you have to consider putting … he's not anywhere near that. He's still got a very good mindset. He's still working very hard. We're going to continue trying to grind through it with him and give him opportunities to see if he can settle down."

Minor matters:

The Kane County Cougars were postponed because of rain Saturday night in Geneva. On Friday, No. 1 draft pick Kyle Schwarber hit his first Midwest League home run in the Cougars' 6-4 victory over Cedar Rapids. Schwarber also doubled, going 2-for-3.

At Class AAA Iowa, catcher Welington Castillo made his first rehab appearance as he comes back from a rib cage injury. Castillo went 1-for-5, and Rick Renteria said the reports were good.

Iowa beat El Paso 8-3 as Kyle Hendricks improved to 8-5 with a 3.55 ERA. Hendricks, who could come up if the Cubs trade a starting pitcher, went 7⅔ innings, giving up 3 hits and 1 run while walking none and striking out six.

Logan Watkins, who saw time with the Cubs last year, hit his second homer of the season for Iowa.

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