Brett Carroll and Chris Coghlan, besides being spring training roommates, spent a lot of the offseason together.
Carroll and Coghlan trained together at The Winning Inning -- a hitting academy in Tampa that Coghlan has been working out at since he was 14.
At the academy, Carroll started tinkering with his mental approach at the plate.
``I just worked on keeping things simple and having a consistent approach,'' said Carroll, a .208 hitter in 207 career at-bats. ``Whether I'm 10 for 12 or 0 for 20, it's just having that certain approach that sticks and having confidence with it no matter what kind of wave you are riding.''
Although it's early in the spring, Coghlan has seen a difference in Carroll's work at the plate.
``He's changed a couple of things mechanically that people won't notice, because it's not that big of a deal, but as a hitter it is a big deal,'' said Coghlan, who hit. 321 as the NL's top rookie last season. ``He has more of a fluid swing this year, more of a tuck and load than put your foot down, and I think it's paying off. He's got so much potential hitting, and I think he's starting to realize it.''
Most of the article does the old suspense thing of whether Carroll will make the team out of spring training. He will, or at least he should. The interesting thing about Carroll having a new mind set is that he should be a better hitter off the bench. The few times, and believe me there were few, he got to start games back-to-back he hit pretty decently. And when you couple that with his defensive prowess in the outfield, he showed to be an above average outfielder. But BC isn't used as a starter by the Marlins, and may never be, for some reason, but if he can deliver on his few pinch hitter assignments and keep up the excellent defense, he has a future in the game. Oh sure, he probably won't get a call from the Hall of Fame, but he can have a long, albeit journeyman, career in the game. Then again, who knows, if he ends up in just the right situation he could make some noises.