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Neifi Perez is second on the Cubs in batting, and part of the reason is a switch he made this offseason. Perez worked more on hitting to the opposite field and slightly altered his stance.
"You have to trust your hands," Perez said. "And I've got a different hitting style now. Before, I used to hit lower [think Ozzie Guillen], but now I hit standing up and just wait for the ball."
Does it help him see the ball better?
"I think so," Perez said. "It's working good. I just try to stay inside the ball."
When Perez joined the Cubs last August after being released by the San Francisco Giants, he and Sammy Sosa would take extra batting practice every day. Perez still does that this year.
"I come two hours before stretching and go to the cage," he said. "I don't know if I can do it the whole year because my arm will be tired. I'll do it until I feel tired."
Too many swings can wear a player out. He is lifting weights and exercising in hopes of maintaining his strength. One other part of Perez's routine is that he tapes his own wrists each day.
"I started it in Colorado and now I can't play without it," said Perez, who starts with blue tape, and then covers that with white. "If I play without this, I feel like I'm naked."
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