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Flowers looks to clock for potential fix for skid

Flowers looks to clock for potential fix for skid

CHICAGO -- Tyler Flowers has a problem being on time, and the White Sox catcher believes that issue plays a major role in his 18-for-100 slump since April 30.

No, it's not that Flowers arrives at the ballpark late. This timing deals with Flowers' ability to get ready and execute swings against opposing pitchers, as pointed out by hitting coach Todd Steverson. Surprisingly, it was a part of the swing and offensive process Flowers had never really thought about prior to this slump.

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"I don't know if you would call that ignorance, or I was very lucky in the previous 28 years of my life," Flowers said. "But I've always gone through things like this, where I get pretty hot for a while, and you get cold and you really don't know what the heck to do to get out of it.

"Hopefully this is something that will maybe be a much better foundation for consistency. Just in simple terms, starting whatever it is I do too late. So, you know I got point A, B, C and D I have to get to, and I'm trying to cram it into a one second period of time instead of a two- or three-second period of time."

Flowers, who entered Friday's contest with two hits in 23 at-bats during June, hit .354 over the season's first month. He has not lost sight of the fact that calling games and getting pitchers deep into contests on a nightly basis serves as his primary responsibility. But Flowers seems encouraged by the timing adjustment made to his swing.

Work has already been done within this particular area in the batting cages under Steverson's guidance and during batting practice. Now Flowers hopes it translates quickly into games.

"I've thought it for a couple of years, that I feel like for me to swing and miss as much as I do, there's something really simple that I'm missing," Flowers said. "Obviously timing is a big part of hitting -- and doing anything basically athletically -- so I'm really just going to get caught up in this and give it a few games, and then we'll reassess from there and see how many pitches I was on time for. I have a feeling if I can figure out how to be on time, I'm going to make some solid contact.

"A lot of times I get stuck in the mechanical aspect. I think [Steverson] really hit home with me that the reality is it's not the mechanics. It's about not being on time."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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