5/13 Making adjustments

Alfonso Soriano is in the longest home run drought at the start of his career. He hasn’t hit one over a fence in 112 at-bats after Sunday’s game.

“Edwin Maysonet has more home runs than Alfonso Soriano right now — that’s tough to swallow,” Dale Sveum said of the Brewers’ second baseman, who has one homer, and two in his career. “We have to get some two- and three-run home runs out of that position, no question about it. We’re having trouble sustaining innings enough.”

Soriano led the Cubs with six home runs this spring and is healthy, except for his left knee, which is a little tender. One suggestion Sveum and others have made is to try and get the veteran to switch to a lighter bat. Soriano has done that, switching to a lighter bat for the last two weeks.

“It makes sense,” Soriano said after Sunday’s game. “I feel more comfortable. I can get the bat through the zone more quickly. I’ve been using the bat for the last two weeks. Sometimes in this game, you’re feeling good, sometimes you’re feeling bad. I think I found my swing today and I hope I can keep it the rest of the season.”

On Sunday, he was 1-for-4 with a RBI double in the eighth.

“There’s no question I’d like to see a much lighter bat,” Sveum said Sunday. “He has adjusted a little bit but a smaller, lighter bat would help a lot.”

It’s not as if Sveum is asking Soriano to make a huge adjustment but to a hitter, just one ounce makes a difference.

“You’re talking a few ounces, two, three ounces,” Sveum said. “A shorter bat only makes sense to help out, no question.

“It’s almost like mechanics,” he said. “It’s hard to change mechanics and hard to change something that has felt so comfortable to you. Sometimes when you get to a 35 1/2-inch bat and make it 34, just looking at it, it looks like it’s 31 inches, it’s so much smaller looking. Those are harder things to get over than people think.”

— Carrie Muskat


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