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OnBaseMachine
06-16-2008, 12:43 PM
With Rosales, you can't knock the hustle
Infielder only knows full effort

By C.L. Brown • cbrown@courier-journal.com • June 15, 2008

Adam Rosales isn't hard to miss when the Bats take the field. Just look for the running man.

He's the one running all-out to first even when he has no chance of reaching base. He's the one running back to the dugout with the same urgency. He's also the one running out of the dugout to take his position on the field.

"It's something I've always done and something I've said I will always do no matter what," Rosales said. "It's who I wanted to be — running and hustling. There's a lot of standing around in this game, and I'm just trying to keep the energy level up."

The 25-year-old infielder is as persistent with his hustle as Pete Rose — although Rosales, a Chicago native, grew up a Cubs fan and idolized shortstop Shawon Dunston.

Rosales said his penchant to get places in a hurry doesn't always serve him well. With the Reds promoting their young players — think Jay Bruce, Paul Janish and Johnny Cueto — it has made Rosales a bit anxious.

"The opportunity is presenting itself — it's right in front of everybody's face," Rosales said. "It does put a little pressure on you, but you just have to play your game and focus on today. That's what I struggle with."

Rosales, who attended Western Michigan, is still trying to catch up to the pitching in his first season in Triple-A. He's batting just .224.

Leading off

Outfielder Chris Dickerson still moves around in the lineup, but there's no doubt where his preference is. Since May30, Dickerson has hit .393 and drawn 11 walks in 33 at-bats, most of which came batting leadoff.

"I've done it my whole career," said Dickerson, who was used primarily as a leadoff hitter at Double-A Chattanooga. "I'm really comfortable there. I enjoy being a guy to kind of spark the inning."

Dickerson has hit leadoff for the Bats in 14 games, the second-most on the team. Infielder Andy Green has the most appearances atop the order (39).

Listen and learn

Sometimes hitting coach Smokey Garrett's biggest challenge for improving a hitter's swing is simply overcoming attitude — especially when that player has been sent down from the big leagues.

Major leaguers long on experience tend to be uncompromising.

"A lot of these guys don't know me; they've never been around me," Garrett said. "There's a trust factor. The player has to trust you for you to be able to communicate with them. Most of them have been receptive, but it's up to them to put it into practice if they believe in it."

Déjà vu

It took nearly 70 games, but the Bats started the same batting order in consecutive games for the first time this season. The only difference in Wednesday's and Thursday's games at Pawtucket came at catcher and designated hitter. Ryan Hanigan was the DH on Wednesday, and Alvin Colina played catcher. The two switched positions Thursday.

http://www.courier-journal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080615/SPORTS07/80615002/1036