Mark Reed: I had a tough year here last year and didn't get a whole lot of at-bats because I split time with (Jake) Muyco. But I went home this off-season and worked really hard. Me and my brother (Jeremy Reed) got in the cage and we kind of tore my swing apart and put it all back together. I felt like working with him, he taught me a couple of things that he does that will help me. I also went and hit with Dave Hansen, a hitting coach that Jeremy played with in Seattle. I worked really hard this off-season to get to where I thought I would have some success and it's showing already. I feel good and feel that I'm in a good position to hit.
What changes in particular did you make to your swing?
Mark Reed: Mainly it was just how I needed to get ready. My bat position before I started my swing I guess ... I never did the same thing. I never repeated. It was really inconsistent and now it's something I can repeat and know where my bat is.
Some times when players make adjustments to their swings, they also change things up with their stance. Has that been the case with you as well?
Mark Reed: I'm a little more closed I guess and not as open as I used to be. I didn't really change my stance a lot. I tend to lift my leg up a little now. It's kind of a timing thing.
Do you feel you're where you want to be after making these changes?
Mark Reed: Yeah, definitely. I'm having good at-bats. It's early still, but definitely it's been a lot better than where I was at this point last year.
How much does the fast start help? The Cubs always say it's how you finish that counts most.
Mark Reed: It's very important, just because it breeds a lot of confidence. To go out early and get those hits and get off to a great start, you get that confidence and you just try to ride it as long as you can. That's the thing about hitting. You get confidence and it doesn't really matter who's out there on the mound if they're confident in their ability to hit. So it's definitely important.
Defensively, you'd split time behind the plate with Muyco the past couple of years as you said. Do you feel you're up to the task of catching on a night to night basis?
Mark Reed: I feel like I can. I don't know what the plan is that the organization has for me. But yeah, I feel I can. I think the big thing is swinging the bat so that I can put up good numbers. I think it will all fall into place catching-wise.
Have you and Muyco spoken since he left for Arizona to pitch?
Mark Reed: We've played a little phone tag. I know we're on different schedules now. … I've heard he's throwing a few bullpens. Hopefully it works out for him.