Restovich Steps Up His Performance

Earlier this season, Michael Restovich spent some time at the major league level with the Washington Nationals.  After only batting .147, with no homeruns, and only 1 RBI, Restovich was sent back to the Triple-A Columbus Clippers.  However, after his stint with the Nationals, Restovich has stepped up his performance and is improving everyday.

The season, so far, has been a process for Restovich. He is enjoying the benefits that come along with Triple-A ball, such as playing everyday. He did not get that chance in the major leagues, and is now using it to his advantage. He admits he has had his ups and downs in the season, but tries to make his performance as consistent as possible.

Now, in the early days of July, Restovich is batting .273 and is leading the team in homeruns. This power hitter is contributing hits along with homeruns to help Columbus win some crucial games. Despite the slow start, Restovich was not worried that the power and homeruns would eventually come.

"Well in my career, hitting homeruns is one thing I have been pretty consistent with and is what my team depends on me for since I'm a bigger guy," Restovich said. "I wasn't too worried or concerned when I wasn't hitting homeruns at the beginning because I figured it would come. When you start to worry about it and try hard to hit them, that's when you don't hit homeruns. So I'm proud of myself for not panicking and because I didn't panic, I am now benefiting from it."

Restovich hasn't changed his approach to the plate, even though one might think so after the change in his performance. Instead, he has just tweaked it here and there. He is beginning to find a way to do it more often and to always have the right frame of mind when he walks up to the plate.

If there was one thing Restovich was known for, it would be his power. He has the ability to either hit homeruns or drive in runners, and the team depends on him for that. He is the guy that is needed to make things happen on the offense, and tries to make the best out of any situation. While some players rely on their speed, Restovich relies on his power. However, power is not the only thing Restovich thinks is important.

"I think my power is my biggest strength. Being a bigger guy and able to hit the ball out of the park is what I am relied upon to do," Restovich said. "However, when you play this many games, I think it important to get along with all different kinds of people and I have the ability to do that. You meet and play with a million different players from around our country along with other countries and you need to get along with them to work well and to have a good team."

Along with leading the team in homeruns, Restovich also leads the team in errorless games, at 35. From April 5th till June 26th, Restovich did not commit any errors, which was a great accomplishment for him.

"It something I'm proud of," Restovich told CapitolDugout.com. "In the same sense, I am not one of those guys that are running all over the field making awesome plays, or diving to get the ball, there are some faster guys on the team that have the ability to do that. But I try to do the best I can with what I've been given and try to be consistent and make the plays that come to me and try not to do too much."

Restovich has been playing professional baseball for 10 years and is a veteran of the game. He has spent time in the major leagues with a number of teams throughout the years, and has learned many things. He hopes to pass on what he has learned along with the experiences he has had to some of the younger guys on the team.

"I think the biggest thing is consistency and not getting too excited or down. When you're struggling or doing well, it's hard not to let emotions get in the way," Restovich told us. "It is such a long season, and you play so many games. You might have a 10 game stretch that you do horrible, you feel like you want to jump off a bridge, but the key is to not let that happen. It is much easier said then done, because unlike a lot of jobs, our performance is seen by a lot of people and is in the paper the next day. A couple of bad games could feel like a year, so you can't get frustrated and have to move on. Similarly, when you are doing well you can't get a big head and must stay level headed, because if you're too confident that is when the game will turn on you. There are so many games and no one is good all the time. So be confident, level-headed, and come out and play hard everyday."

Even though Restovich might be doing well, he knows he still has some things to work on. He wants to strike out less and put the ball in play more. Another improvement that Restovich says he has to work on is his confidence. The game of baseball is a mental game as much as it is a physical game and Restovich knows that.

"I would have to say I need to practice striking out less, which has been a thing that I have always tried to work on. Also, putting the ball in play more often and I think confidence is a big thing to work on," Restovich said. "Sometimes you have to trick yourself, maybe you might feel so good that day, but you have to go to the plate with confidence. Basically, you have to not psyche yourself out. If you bat .300, you are considered to have a good season, and with a .300, that means you are failing 70% of the time. It is hard to have confidence when the game you play is based off failure."

Restovich recognizes all the talent that is on the Columbus team and says he feeds off of others doing well. With the veterans' leadership and the young guys' abilities, he hopes they can get it together and turn their season around.

"A lot of guys here deserve a chance up at the major league level and they should get their shot. I think I have improved since my stint this year with the Nationals, but that doesn't necessarily mean I deserve to be up there. I want to see others do well too, so if that means that they beat my records or get called up faster than I do, so be it, they deserve it. All I concentrate on is improving everyday and helping my team as much as possible. With all of our talent, we should be winning this, and hopefully that's where we can be at the end of the season."

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