3/5 Byrd blends in with Cubs

Marlon Byrd may be one of the new guys on the Cubs but he definitely isn’t shy. Byrd has offered tips to the pitchers and hitters.

“It’s a good group of guys,” Byrd said. “The veteran guys I’ve been around, I’ve played against, so they know what type of guy I am. If I was a younger guy being here, I’d be very quiet. But it’s my eighth season in the big leagues, D-Lee, Kevin Millar, Ramy, all these guys I’ve played with — and Soriano. That makes the transition very easy.”

He’s been offering reassurance to the Cubs about hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo’s system, making sure they understand his message.

“It’s not easy, it’s not going to click right away,” Byrd said. “But give it time and trust it and any questions you have, I’m here to answer.”

So far, Lou Piniella has been pretty calm, Byrd said.

“I like Lou,” the outfielder said. “I’m waiting for the season when he turns it on and gets that intensity and that fire going. Right now, he’s another guy that’s making it easy, coming in smiling. He’s a conversation guy, he walks through the clubhouse, so you get to see him.”

Byrd didn’t disappoint in his first Cactus League game with the Cubs, hitting a single and a home run.

“I need to save those for April 5 on,” he said.

— Carrie Muskat 

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