Headley draws on experience

PEORIA, AZ-- Chase Headley got his feet wet in 2008 and is looking to build upon that this coming year. The name of the game is cutting down on the strikeouts, playing as a team and knowing his body.

You came into the 2008 season with a history of pitch selection, drawing walks and plate discipline. Do you feel like you got away from that a little bit?

Chase Headley: I don't know that I necessarily got away from it. There are a lot of things that go into it when you first get out there – excitement, and they're going to challenge you until you can prove that you can hit up there. That's something that's going to come. I don't worry about that because that's always been a part of my game. It wasn't quite where I wanted it to be, but I'm not concerned with it because I know I'll get back to it.

What did you learn about yourself in your first full major league season?

Chase Headley: You learn a lot. You learn every day – how to adjust to the lifestyle, the travel. You learn from the pitchers; you know what they're going to try to do to you. But you know, I think the biggest thing is just learning that you can play there - getting the confidence in yourself that you belong there and you can be a part of the team and help the team win hopefully.

You were very successful with runners on base in San Diego last season. Did the approach change for you during those specific times where runners were on base?

Chase Headley: I think it should. When you have runners in scoring position, you want to be aggressive but make sure you get pitches that you can handle. Because that's where you win ballgames. That's where you have your most meaningful at-bats. For me, I try to "lock in" even a little bit more when there are runners on base.

You have been a guy that has always worked hard and sometimes too hard. How do you find that level ground where you are being productive?

Chase Headley: I think you've got to experience it. Last year was a learning experience. This year, I know a little more what to expect to be able to go in and get the work done that I need but not to overdo it. I think the only way to figure it out is to go through that experience. Everybody's a little different in what their body tolerates so the best thing you can do is just do it and make adjustments as you go.

You moved to the outfield to begin last year. What have the challenges been and is daily progression visible?

Chase Headley: Well, there have been a lot of challenges. Any time you're learning a new position, especially at an extremely high level – AAA or the major leagues, there are going to be bumps in the road. But the challenge is to just do your best to get better every single day. You're going to make a mistake every now and then. To let that go and not let it affect you going forward is the most important thing you can do.

You have a lot of tools such as video and scouting reports to help prepare you for an upcoming pitcher. When does that become too much information?

Chase Headley: It becomes too much if you start guessing up there. If you're going up there and you're sitting dead-red on a pitch and you don't get it – you can look certain pitches but you can't be just dead-red according to the scouting report. And you've still got to go out there and play. You can know what they're going to do, but you still have to execute. So you learn what they're doing but I still think you've got to focus on what you do best and not give in to what they're going to try to do to you.

You have worked with Jim Lefebvre this offseason in preparation for the season. What kinds of things have you been working on with him?

Chase Headley: The biggest thing was talking approach – trying to figure out what the entire lineup's responsibility is and where I fit in to that. You know, last year I feel like we had 8, 9 individuals in the lineup. Guys going up there and trying to do something, but we didn't really fit together. This year, Jim's idea is that we're going to be a little bit more of "one thing" – one lineup rather than 8 or 9 individual guys.

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