MESA, ARIZ. (AP) -Alfonso Soriano reported to Chicago Cubs camp Sunday, a day ahead of the reporting date for position players. Unlike last year, the buzz was minimal.
Soriano was the center of attention a year ago because he had just signed a $136 million, eight-year contract to leave the Washington Nationals for the Cubs, the team's biggest free-agent splash ever. This spring, Japanese right fielder Kosuke Fukudome has been the main attraction at Cubs' camp.
``Its always exciting to come to spring training,'' Soriano said. ``I think I had too much vacation. Now it's time to work.''
The biggest issue facing the Cubs' left fielder is his health. Last August, a severely strained right quadriceps put him on the disabled list for the first time in his career, and he missed three weeks. Early in the season, a strained left hamstring put him on the shelf for five games.
``I've run (at) 75 percent, so I think my legs are good,'' he said. ``We'll see now how I feel.''
paths; his stolen-base total dropped from 41 in 2006 to 19 last year. Can he get healthy enough for another 40-40 season, like the one he had two years ago?
``I don't know yet,'' he said. ``We have to see in maybe a couple weeks, see how I feel in my legs. If I feel good, 100 percent, I can start running again.''
Soriano has other reasons to feel relaxed this spring. A year ago, the Cubs experimented with him in center field during spring training and at the beginning of the regular season. He played just 12 games in center, however, before being moved back to left field following the hamstring injury in April.
``I think it's a little more easy this year because that's my second year with the team,'' he said. ``I know now that I'm going to play only left field and have fun. I put it in my mind just to have fun and let myself play.''
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