Mora enjoying best spring as an Oriole
Offseason adjustments help third baseman thrive at plate
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Entering his 10th season, Melvin Mora, hitting .483, has had other springs as productive as this.
"Yes," Mora said after going 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a run scored in Friday's 7-4 loss to the Red Sox. "With the Mets."
Mora was traded by the Mets to the O's on July 28, 2000.
"I always feel good in Spring Training, every year," he said. "Sometimes they're going to throw me more strikes. Sometimes they're not. Sometimes I'm going to crush more balls. Sometimes not. But I feel strong every year I play.
"I feel strong. I just throw the head [of the bat] to the ball and whatever happens, happens. When you feel strong, anything can happen."
In 11 Grapefruit League games this spring, Mora leads the O's with 14 hits, four doubles, 11 RBIs and five walks.
"I really can't pinpoint it, other than the fact that he seems to be working the count," Orioles manager Dave Trembley said. "Using the whole field to hit. When he's getting his pitch, he's not missing it."
Mora hit a third-inning solo home run to left field off Daisuke Matsuzaka, giving him two homers this spring, tied with Mike Costanzo for the Orioles' team lead.
"[He's] nasty," Mora said of Matsuzaka. "All the pitching in the big leagues looks nasty to me, so we have to make adjustments. Throw a pretty good pitch at us and swing."
Mora said he made some adjustments playing winter ball and working out in Venezuela under the tutelage of Cesar Cedeno, who has instructed Mora since the O's third baseman was 15, and who is now the hitting coach of the Nationals' Gulf Coast League team.
"I just tried to stay inside the ball more because I know last year was difficult for me," Mora said. "So I went to play and worked with my hitting instructor over there.
"The only thing I was working on was some drill that I didn't do for like two years. But I bring everything here, and when I get here, I'm still working with [O's hitting coach Terry Crowley]. The same thing. He told me the same thing.
"[It was] just a one-hand drill. [It] can make my shoulders strong, my front shoulder strong, and I'll be able to control the bat. [Just swinging with my left arm.] I did it before, but not with my guy in Venezuela.
"Off the tee, soft toss, everything. But I've been doing that with 'Crow,' too. But [Cedeno] knows me for a long time. Every offseason [I work with him], and when he sees there's something wrong with me on TV, he calls me every time ... even though he works with Washington. Last year, I played in Washington. He was there and he tells me something like, 'Pull your shoulder inside.' I said, 'Hey, you're [with] Washington now.'"
Maureen Mullen is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.