TigsTown.com: What does it mean for you and the team to get off to a fast start?
Chris Shelton: We've been fortunate that we've been playing really well as of late. We've been getting timely hitting and good pitching, and that's always a key to a fast start.
TT: What were your goals coming into the season, both for you and for the team?
Shelton: Well for me personally, I just wanted an opportunity to get out and play everyday. Last year it was a struggle for me to get a chance to play everyday. I wanted to get down here, stay healthy, and hopefully put up big numbers. Team-wise, we felt like we had a good team coming in here, and we could get off to a good start and hopefully stay in it for a long time and see what happens towards the end.
TT: Do you feel you're on track for these goals so far this season?
Shelton: I think right now, as a team, we're right where we want to be. We've lost some close ones, but that's going to happen throughout the year. Personally, I'm definitely happy with where I'm at right now.
TT: What steps have you been taking to improve defensively?
Shelton: Fortunately for me this year I've been working with Bull (Durham), and he played many years in the big league at first base so I get to learn a lot from him and learn quite a bit from him.
TT: Do you prefer DH'ing or playing first base?
Shelton: As long as I'm in the lineup and just get an opportunity to play everyday, I'll be happy.
TT: Do you think the team has gelled yet, or are they still learning how to play together as a team?
Shelton: I think a lot of the guys are really close. We've had a few call-ups; a few guys coming in and out, but that happens every year, and I think the team is really close, if not already there.
TT: Is there a certain way you approach each at-bat, or any certain thing you do every time?
Shelton: At times there are situations when you have to do something different than what you want to do. It also depends a lot on the pitching. Basically I just go up there and try and hit the ball hard every time and see what happens after that.
TT: Is there anything that Leon (Durham) has done to improve your hitting? Shelton: Basically, he's told me to stay with my approach because he thinks my approach is where it needs to be, and make sure I don't get into a mode where I stop using the whole field. If I get into a pull mode, I start struggling a bit, so if I stay in the big part of the field, he thinks I'll be all right.
TT: Was there any hitter you idolized growing up?
Shelton: As I got a little older, it was Chipper Jones, because he likes to hit. But when I was younger I always watched Dale Murphy with the Braves and guys like that.
TT: Who's the toughest pitcher you've ever faced?
Shelton: I'd have to say Roy Halladay, just for the fact that he can throw everything for strikes at any time in the count. Just for the fact that he's a very good pitcher and when you play in the big leagues you've got to hit guys like that everyday, so hopefully I can get to that point.