Soriano making strong case for the defense

Soriano making strong case for the defense

CHICAGO -- Alfonso Soriano has been playing so well in the field that Cubs manager Dale Sveum didn't lift him in the late innings on Sunday. Soriano made a nice running catch of Adam LaRoche's fly ball to end the fourth.

"That's because of all the work in Spring Training with [coach] Dave McKay," Soriano said Monday of his improved jumps. "I feel so comfortable in left field and I hope to continue to feel comfortable over there."

McKay has emphasized being in the right position and doing so has made it easier for Soriano to get to balls. In the past, it's been a little bit of an adventure for Soriano in left field.

"The positioning, and because my legs feel loose," Soriano said about why he's playing better. "I can run fast now and not worry that I'm going to run and pull a hamstring. The work I've done with McKay makes me feel comfortable out there."

On Monday, Soriano, 36, was talking to hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo around the cage. But the left fielder knows the hits will come. He went 1-for-4 in Monday's loss to the Brewers.

"I've focused more on defense this year because I have a new coach and I think he knows what he's doing," Soriano said.