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Friday, March 9, 2012
Soriano's new plate approach paying off

By Doug Padilla

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- A less flamboyant approach at the plate could help Alfonso Soriano to put up some flashy numbers this season.

Alfonso Soriano
Alfonso Soriano has three homers so far this spring.

It may not be a coincidence that Soriano’s hot start at the plate this spring has coincided with a change to his hitting approach. No longer is Soriano using his high leg kick to trigger his swing.

“It might have been that time where he might have come up with it just because when you get older the bat slows down and you have to have a lot less moving parts to your swing especially that big old log he swings,” manager Dale Sveum said “The less moving parts the easier it becomes.”

After hitting three home runs in his first three spring games, including a two-homer game already, Soriano had half of the club’s six long balls. He then led off Friday’s game against the White Sox with a double and scored on a hit by Darwin Barney.

Soriano was retired in his last two at-bats, but is still hitting at a .545 clip in Cactus League play.

“He’s been great; he’s hitting the heck out of the ball,” Sveum said. “He’s working his butt off in the outfield with [coach] Dave [McKay]. He’s been doing a great job.”