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05/17/08 8:42 PM ET

Ortmeier doing good work vs. lefties

Outfielder/first baseman better able to focus from one side

SAN FRANCISCO -- Daniel Ortmeier's year of transition has proceeded more smoothly so far than most observers could have expected.

Despite hitting exclusively right-handed after abandoning switch-hitting and starting only 10 games, Ortmeier took a respectable .292 batting average into Saturday night's Interleague game against the Chicago White Sox.

Ortmeier tends to start against left-handed pitching, which means sporadic activity. From May 6-8, when the Giants were in the midst of a stretch of facing six consecutive left-handed starters, he batted .556 (5-for-9), boosting his average from .229 to .295. Ortmeier received another chance Saturday by starting in left field against White Sox left-hander Mark Buehrle.

Ortmeier has worked overtime at honing his swing.

"I feel like this year more than any other year -- and it may have to do with just focusing on one side -- I feel very mechanically sound," he said.

This enables Ortmeier to step into the batter's box concentrating on his matchup against the pitcher instead of distracting himself with thoughts about his hands or elbows or feet.

Sheer maturity has helped Ortmeier, who made the Opening Day roster for the first time after playing parts of the previous three seasons with the Giants.

"I know that mentally, right now, I'm different than I've ever been, as far as not making excuses," he said. "I'm trying to be a professional."

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.