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Schierholtz hoping to prove he can hit lefties

MESA, Ariz. -- Wednesday was the Cubs' first full-squad workout, which meant it was the first day of live batting practice. Nate Schierholtz got to face exactly who he needed in lefty Travis Wood.

Schierholtz is hoping he can convince Cubs manager Rick Renteria to not platoon the outfielder against left-handed pitchers. Last year, Schierholtz batted .262 against right-handers and hit .170 against lefties, part of the reason he had to share right field.

"That's a huge goal of mine, to play every day and not necessarily platoon as much," Schierholtz said Wednesday. "That's one of my big goals this spring."

It seemed fitting that he had to face a southpaw on Day 1.

"These sessions right now are more for pitchers than hitters," Renteria said. "It's a difficult time for the hitters."

When Schierholtz was with the Giants, he recalls Barry Bonds having his own personal batting-practice pitcher who was left-handed. When Bonds stopped playing, that pitcher stayed with the Giants to help. The Cubs do need to find some lefties to throw batting practice to help Schierholtz, Anthony Rizzo and Ryan Sweeney.

"There weren't too many lefties who I had available here," Schierholtz said. "It'll be something I work on a lot this spring, [facing] left-handed throwers. That's the key. Rizzo and I talked about it a lot last year, how we didn't have anyone left-handed to throw to us ever. That's a big gap and hole we had to fill. At least in Spring Training, we can get more work that way."

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat.
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