Q: How does it feel to be leading the Majors in hitting this month?
A: I feel really good and one thing that I'm very aware of is that I'm healthy. All of those hand injuries I had in the past, they're in the past. I feel I belong more. I feel like a more confident hitter. And overall the one thing I don't feel is complacent; there's more to do.
Q: What's been the reason? Any one thing in particular you've been working on?
A: It's a combination of things. Working early, from the gym to soft toss to the cage, and watching video of the guys I'm going to face or have faced in the past. I'm also studying myself. The influence of the players here, too, the veteran players who have taken me aside and pretty much taught me to become a better player every day.
Q: Has there been one guy who's had the greatest influence?
A: Not one guy overall. From Figgins to Vlady to Bobby Abreu and Torii Hunter; those guys are always on me to make sure I'm doing the things I need to do to get ready, perform well and have confidence.
Q: How great does it feel to finally be performing at this level?
A: It feels good to be playing at a high level and doing something that I love, which is playing the game of baseball. Being able to get results is a lot of fun. I thank God, No. 1, that I've been able to get the opportunity to play and I don't want it to even cross my mind that this is it. I want to continue on and keep playing at the same level now.
Q: How do the trade rumors affect you?
A: It doesn't affect me. I have a job to do. I can't really worry about my name being thrown out there. I think it's flattering that teams think that I'm playing very well, that teams might want me, but it also makes me feel sad. Just the possibility that some other team wants me and I can't control that, it makes me feel sad sometimes because I have so many friends here. But I don't want to let that affect my game.
Q: Is it flattering that this team doesn't seem to want to give you up?
A: It feels good from my side because they have confidence in me, I want to show it back to them.