Headley seeing fruits of his offseason labors

Headley seeing fruits of his offseason labors

PEORIA, Ariz. -- As far as samples go, Chase Headley's two hits in Sunday's 13-12 loss to the Mariners -- the first game of the spring, no less -- do not qualify as much.

And Headley, a switch-hitter, didn't pretend as much on Monday, when he talked about the improvements he is trying to make as a right-handed hitter after he struggled last season when facing left-handed pitchers.

But Headley's singles in his first two at-bats, against Mariners left-hander Luke French, provided some validations that his work to get better from the right side might be taking hold.

"It was good to get positive reinforcement right away," Headley said. "This early on, your timing isn't locked in. So it felt good to get a couple of hits from that side of the plate ... since it's something I've worked hard on during the offseason and here."

Headley hit .217 in 2010 as a right-handed hitter. That was the fifth-lowest average against left-handed pitching among National League players who finished with at least 180 at-bats.

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Headley has been using a shorter stride from the right side, which has helped with the timing of his swing. Both of his hits on Sunday were singles to left field, the first coming on a full-count changeup, the second on a fastball.