A fresh start may be benefitting Marlon Byrd after all.
In 13 games with the Cubs, the outfielder only collected three hits and was batting a paltry .070. But in two games for the Red Sox, the former 2010 All-Star has already matched that total, belting one hit on Monday and two more in Tuesday’s 11-2 victory over the Twins.
“[Myself and hitting coach Dave Magadan] tried to get my old swing from 2010,” Byrd told reporters in Minnesota. “I can hit. I knew I wasn’t going to hit .087 for the rest of the season… I was inconsistent with my timing.”
It marked a step in the right direction for Byrd, who said during his introductory news conference on Sunday that he felt his swing was coming back. Before the veteran was traded for Michael Bowden over the weekend, Cubs skipper Dale Sveum praised Byrd’s progression at the plate.
But Byrd understands that he’s a short-term fix as Jacoby Ellsbury rehabs from a subluxed shoulder that landed the Gold Glove winner on the disabled list. Despite that matter, Byrd has handled business defensively for the Red Sox, making a diving catch — that he initially misread — to bail out Josh Beckett during Tuesday’s game.
At the plate, though, he’s poised to continue making strides. As Byrd adjusts to American League pitching, he will have plenty of opporunities to build on his rough start in Chicago.