Soriano adjusting to unfamiliar AL pitchers
CHICAGO -- Now that Alfonso Soriano is back in a Yankees uniform, he is finding himself having to adjust to American League pitching after spending the last 7 1/2 seasons in the National League, mostly with the Cubs.
Before Wednesday's game against the White Sox, Soriano was hitting .211 (8-for-38) with a home run and four RBIs. He launched a two-run homer in the first inning Wednesday.
The Cubs traded Soriano to the Yankees, the team he broke into the big leagues with in 1999, on July 26.
"I have to make adjustments … more to the pitchers I faced in the American League, if they're not retired," Soriano said. "[I have to adjust] more to the pitchers that are brand new [to me]. I know we played Interleague [games], but most of the [AL] pitchers, I don't know those guys, so I have to make adjustments with those pitchers."
Soriano said he relies on film of pitchers he's never faced, as well as on teammates who have been in the league for a few years and know what to look for.
"That's what I do," Soriano said. "I like to see video to get comfortable with those pitchers. I know they throw the same fastballs, sliders, [and] changeups, but, you know, I have to make adjustments to those guys. … [I talk to] Vernon Wells, I ask him [about pitchers], I talk to [Curtis] Granderson, and [Brett] Gardner, too."
Manager Joe Girardi said that while there's definitely going to be an adjustment period for Soriano, the Yankees need that period to be as short as possible given their offensive struggles.
"Some of the Interleague has given [Soriano] a little bit of history, but for the most part he's probably not had 30, 40 at-bats against certain guys and that's an adjustment that he's going to have to make really quickly for us," Girardi said.
"Maybe if I [see] a couple pitches, maybe five or six pitches, I'm more comfortable," Soriano added. "The more pitches I see, I feel more comfortable."