Sweeney enters season with hot bat

Sweeney enters season with hot bat

PHOENIX -- Ryan Sweeney's goal wasn't to lead the Cactus League in hits, but be ready for Opening Day. It looks like he's accomplished that.

The Cubs outfielder had three hits in 39 at-bats through last Monday. Since then, he's 6-for-9 entering play on Saturday, and hit his first home run on Thursday.

"There was a stretch when I didn't feel good but the last week, I feel good," Sweeney said.

His timing is perfect. He also wasn't worried about his numbers.

"To tell you the truth, I didn't even look at my stats or anything," Sweeney said. "I was just getting ready for [Opening day]. I knew I didn't get as many hits as I wanted to but I wasn't putting too much pressure on myself. I feel good now."

Sweeney didn't go to the Minor Leagues for extra at-bats the way Junior Lake and Welington Castillo did, but continued to stick to his sessions in the cage with hitting coach Bill Mueller.

"They key is to peak at the right time," Sweeney said. "Some guys might feel good at the beginning of Spring Training, and not feel good at the end. I feel good right now and once Spring Training is over, nobody remembers that anyway."

Barry M. Bloom is national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.