You've started the season pretty cold, but do you think it has anything to do with the fact that you've been shuffled around the diamond?
Nah. I don't know if I've ever started this slow, but if you look back, I usually do start slow. I don't think it has anything to do with anything I need to change; I've just missed a few balls I should have hit I guess. I just need to get back to hitting those pitches instead of fouling them back to the screen.
Have you changed your approach at all from last year?
No, my approach is similar. I mean, baseball is a game of adjustments and obviously I've got to start making some adjustments. I've got to say that the biggest thing is that I've missed those pitches to hit and I've just fouled them off. You can't have success if you're fouling off pitches that you should be driving into the gap.
How comfortable do you feel in left field?
I feel pretty good out in left (so) I'd say it feels comfortable for the most part. I'm still learning. I played a few games in left last year, but I've had a lot of help and I feel pretty good.
Who's had the biggest influence on your play since you've switched to the outfield?
Definitely (Cubs Minor League Outfield/Baserunning Coordinator) Bobby Dernier, and Angel Pagan's helped me.
How comfortable would you feel if they put you back at short today?
(laughs) I guess I could do it. The only game I played here last year was at short, and I played a few games (at short) last year. It was the first time since 2002.
Why do you think your power numbers have gone up since joining the Cubs?
I just think that I've grown and matured a bit. I think plate discipline has come into it. I still tend to strike out a lot. When I was with the (Detroit) Tigers, I'd get over-anxious early in the count and try to hit a ball I couldn't drive. Here I try to look for that pitch to drive and put a good swing on it instead of getting over-anxious.
Your defense has changed dramatically since 2005. What changes have you made?
Most of my errors were throwing errors, and me and (Infield Coordinator) Bobby Dickerson worked hard on my footwork and getting ready to make good throws. It's helped my throwing a lot and I think that's the biggest difference – the throwing.
What do you think your biggest strength as a ballplayer is?
I'm not sure. Overall versatility I guess. I mean, I can play the outfield, the infield, and I think that's the biggest thing. I'm not going to be like Eric Patterson and steal 50 bases, but I can steal some bases. I can play some infield, some outfield, and that's the biggest strength of my game right now.
For me personally, its just putting the ball in play a bit more often than I have in the last few weeks. When there are guys on base, say first and third with no outs, I've got to put the ball in play – whether it's a ground ball out or not, it'll probably score a run and help the team out more than punching out.