What's the difference? Watch his at-bats. Soriano still uses a leg kick as a timing device but it's not as high a step.
"I just thought it would help my timing," the Cubs left fielder said Saturday. "Sometimes I do it too high and have less timing. Now I try to feel more comfortable at home plate."
It looks like it's working. In 2010, he also got off to a slow start and hit two home runs in 21 spring games. So far this year, he's 6-for-11 with all but one of his hits going for extra bases.
"It's something I worked on in the Dominican to see how I feel," Soriano said. "I did feel good. I had a big leg kick, now I have a little one. I started working on it and I've been more consistent doing it.
"What's more important for me is that before, I needed 10 games to start feeling good, but right away, the first two games, I started feeling good," he said. "I think I've found something in my swing and my mechanics that helps me a lot."
Cubs manager Dale Sveum said the change should help Soriano because there will be less moving parts to his swing.
"I have a big bat and a big leg kick," Soriano said. "That's less time that I have to time the ball. I think if I eliminate some of the movement, my timing is better."
Soriano will likely bat fourth or fifth in the lineup this year, Sveum said Saturday.
"I know I scared you guys a little bit, putting him in the leadoff spot, but that was goofing around with lineups and getting guys at-bats real quick," Sveum said.
So, who will be the Cubs' leadoff man? David DeJesus.
"He's really our only bona fide on-base guy who obviously can hit, and he hits left-handed," Sveum said. "He brings all the intangibles that nobody else in the lineup brings to the table."