"It's been a long year, and I had a lot of things to work on this year, and it took a while to work them out," Sappelt said on Saturday. "That's why it took me so long."
Sappelt was one of three players added to the Cubs roster now that rosters can expand. He arrived on Saturday with outfielder Tony Campana and infielder Adrian Cardenas.
Sappelt, 25, finished at Iowa with a .266 batting average, but his monthly totals show how much he struggled. He batted .218 in April, .237 in May, .260 in June, .317 in July and .287 in August.
"I was not putting consistent swings on the ball and I went through about 15 batting stances," said Sappelt, acquired from the Reds along with Travis Wood in the Sean Marshall deal. "I was in a mental hole all year. I think I'm out of it now."
Which stance did he settle on?
"It's something brand new," Sappelt said. "I took a little out of Brett Jackson's page and Josh Hamilton's hand drop before the pitch to slow down. That's been working for me. I think I'm going to ride that out from here on out."
He was getting frustrated.
"It got bad enough to where I said, 'I'm going to play winter ball until Spring Training and I'm going to figure it out one way or another,'" Sappelt said. "As soon as the All-Star break finished, I told myself to relax and that my time will come."
This is Campana's second stint with the Cubs. He was with the big league team from mid-April to Aug. 3, and batted .259. He hit .264 in August at Iowa, getting more at-bats than he did in June and July combined with the Cubs.
"I went down there and I needed to get at-bats and I got to play every day and I got to get at-bats," Campana said. "It was nice to play every day."
His goal now?
"I'll come off the bench, do my thing, and run around a little bit," said Campana, who stole 26 bases for the Cubs.
Cubs manager Dale Sveum said the new players will have to adjust to fewer at-bats.
"The core of the lineup will be pretty much the same," Sveum said. "It's not as if I'm going to play these guys a lot. It'll be periodically, matchups, whatever. When we're playing these teams in first place [like the Giants], we're going to put our core guys out there."
Sappelt, Campana and Cardenas know that.
"My goal being up here, is whenever I play, I have to show I can come off the bench and hit, and hit lefties," Sappelt said. "I have to be consistent at that while I'm here. That could be my contribution for next year, filling in for Reed Johnson. We have a couple guys going for that role. My goal is to prove I belong."