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Fukudome, an All-Star game starter, is batting only .107 (3-for-28) in August.
"He's a good player. He's a real good player," Piniella said. "To his credit, he's continued to hustle and he's played really well in right field. He's just in a little bit of a slump. Probably trying to do too much.
"He needs just to do the things that he's capable of, like he was earlier in the year. He's taking less pitches. He's not working the count the way he was earlier. He just needs to swing at more strikes."
Piniella said Tuesday if Fukudome's struggles continue, "you try to find somebody else that's swinging the bat."
"That's all I said," Piniella said. "It created a stir, and if that's the case, I'm sorry."
Meanwhile, Piniella said Kerry Wood might be only one appearance away from returning to the closer's role.
Wood pitched a perfect inning against St. Louis on Sunday, his first outing since July 11. He came off the disabled list Aug. 5 after a blister on his right index finger healed, then was unavailable last Friday due to a sore back.
Piniella said he planned to give Wood one more appearance in a setup role.
"Kerry basically feels that he's ready," Piniella said. "And you know what? He probably is. But I think we give him one more ... and then we put him back into the closer's role."
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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