06/02/2009 2:13 PM ET
Mike Jacobs: Royals can compete
Lefty slugger is learning American League style
We've struggled in recent days, but, overall, we've been doing some good things in the early part of this season, and we know we can compete. Hopefully, I can help this ballclub win.
We've been led by strong pitching this season. In baseball, you have to be able to pitch to win. You have to pitch well and play defense well. Our offense was slow out of the gate, and we're starting to pick it up, but there's plenty of room for improvement.
Having played exclusively in the National League up until this point, there's been an adjustment period coming to the American League.
There's a difference. Here, I seem to get more breaking balls, even in a hitter's count. In the NL, it seems to be more fastball dominant. But the caliber of baseball is great, and I've enjoyed it so far. As I continue to make adjustments, hopefully good things will happen for us.
This is the second time I've changed teams. I originally came up with the Mets before getting traded to Florida. I'm more established in my big league career now than I was the first time I got traded, so this hasn't been as difficult a transition. The first trade experience helped me know what to expect. I knew what it would be like. I knew how to sort of balance that pressure of coming in and trying to impress right away. Experience of any nature helps you.
Something else that helped out with my transition to Kansas City was that I knew some of the guys here already. I had played in Florida with Miguel Olivo, for example, and with some of the other guys in our organization while I was in the Minors. I also played a lot against some of these guys, and that helps with your familiarity.
I don't get a chance to see a lot of my friends on the Marlins anymore. You turn the page a bit, but I still talk to some of those guys on occasion. I see their highlights, and I wish them nothing but success. I enjoyed my time there, but the focus is here and now.
Mike Jacobs, who was traded to the Royals from the Marlins in late October, leads Kansas City with nine home runs, 25 RBIs and a .478 slugging percentage. He established career highs in 2008 with the Marlins when he hit 32 home runs and drove in 93 runs in 141 games.