Offseason regimen paying dividends for Soriano

Offseason regimen paying dividends for Soriano

Offseason regimen paying dividends for Soriano
MESA, Ariz. -- If Alfonso Soriano is hitting the ball to right field, that's a good thing for the Cubs.

"If I hit a home run to right field, I know my swing is good," the Cubs outfielder said of his focus on hitting to the opposite field. "That means I'm feeling good and I have power today. If I hit a homer to right field, that means I stayed on the ball."

Soriano is batting .364 this spring with one homer, which sailed over the right-field wall at Maryvale Baseball Park on March 2. On Wednesday, he went 0-for-2, and flew out to right in the Cubs' 13-4 loss to the Royals.

Pitchers will continue to throw inside on Soriano, but Cubs hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo wants him to think right. The good thing this spring is that Soriano can think about hitting and not rehabbing. He's healthy because of a good offseason.

Every day, starting in January in the Dominican Republic, Soriano would drive his kids to school, then go to the Cubs academy to work out. He spent three hours there, beginning at 8:30 a.m. His program included leg strengthening exercises, running and agility drills. When finished, he'd go home and complete his workout routine by doing upper body exercises.

Then it was time for lunch, a quick nap, and he'd go pick up his children from school. Soriano didn't spend much time hitting this offseason.

"Spring Training is six weeks, so I have plenty of time to hit," he said. "It's my legs, defense and a little hitting in the Dominican."

So far, his program has paid off.