Hips don't lie: Gyorko working on swing

Second baseman focused on bouncing back after down year

Hips don't lie: Gyorko working on swing

PEORIA, Ariz. -- While many Padres hitters are spending the first few days of live batting practice tracking offerings from pitchers, second baseman Jedd Gyorko is trying something different.

He's getting his hacks in.

"Personally, I like to go in there and swing," Gyorko said. "I feel I'll get my timing down better if I'm swinging. I think it's harder to get your timing down by just looking at pitches."

Gyorko, coming off a season that was cut short to 111 games because of plantar fasciitis in his left foot, is intent on improving on his offensive numbers from 2014, when he struggled at the start of the season and didn't find his swing until returning from the disabled list.

He finished with a .210/.280/.333 line with 10 home runs and 51 RBIs, down from the 23 home runs he hit his rookie season. Gyorko was in San Diego some this winter to work with new hitting coach Mark Kotsay, and he has continued that work in Arizona.

One area of emphasis for Gyorko, a right-handed hitter, is working to keep his hips close or aligned, not allowing them to open up, leaving him susceptible to pitches away.

"We're making sure the hips stay in so they don't come out like they did at the beginning of last year to make sure everything is working in the right direction," he said. "It allows me to see the ball a little longer and a little better.

"It will allow me to hit the ball the other way with power or just shoot it the other way, and gets me on time to pull the ball so I don't get jammed."

Gyorko worked on hitting balls to right field during Saturday's round of batting practice, hitting several over the fence on the team's main practice field.

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.