Chicago Cubs second baseman Mike Fontenot said his inability to adjust to pitchers played a part in his disappointing 2009 season, but he believes new hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo will help him bounce back this season.
After batting .305 in a utility role in 2008, Fontenot won the starting second baseman in spring training of 2009. But he couldn't hold on to the job, batting .236 with nine home runs and 43 RBIs.
"I didn't adjust very well last year," Fontenot said Tuesday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "I've got to try to adjust a lot better. I can't let too many days go in between without making adjustments to pitchers. You can't miss the pitches that you get, and that was one thing that went wrong for me last year and it just kind of snowballed."
With Kosuke Fukudome the only other left-handed hitting regular, the Cubs are counting on Fontenot to bring some balance to their lineup. His work with Jaramillo could go a long way in Fontenot becoming a fixture in the lineup.
"We've got a new hitting coach in camp, and he seems to be pretty good," Fontenot said of Jaramillo. "The hitting coaches I've worked with in the past were good also, but sometimes different guys have a different way of telling you things and sometimes that helps.
"We've made some adjustments from the first week. They've felt good, and we're still working on things like [adjusting to pitchers]."