PHOENIX -- After a rather unflattering season in 2011, Vernon Wells tinkered with his batting stance and changed his approach. Against the Athletics on Monday, Wells was finally able to put that in game mode and already got some favorable results -- knocking in two runs and hitting two hard line drives in his first two plate appearances.
"I think the main thing is my swing is back to being short," said Wells, who had the lowest batting average and on-base percentage in the Majors last year. "When my swing is short, I swing at good pitches, lay off tough pitches and put a lot more consistent swings on the pitches I need to be hitting hard. Lining out was good to see, especially early on, just knowing if I get a good pitch to hit, put a good swing on it and don't really try to do too much."
Wells, who worked with Cubs hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo in the offseason, stands a little more upright in the batter's box and has incorporated a new timing mechanism in hopes of staying short with his swing and driving more pitches up the middle.
In the first inning against right-hander Brad Peacock, Wells -- batting in the No. 5 spot -- lined a two-run single to center field. He then lined out hard to left field in the third, drew a walk in the fourth and flied out to right field in the fifth.
"You're going to go through [ups and downs] during the season," Wells said. "It's just a matter of trying to stay consistent with my approach no matter what the outcome is."