Right now I'm coming off the bench as a role player. It requires a bit of a different mind-set than being a regular. My goal is to feel good at the plate and contribute in any way I can. I need to be prepared and ready in anticipation of opportunities as they arise.
To stay sharp, it's really important for me to get a lot of batting practice in. It really does help me come game time. By taking a lot of BP, I feel pretty comfortable every time I get into a game. I don't feel overmatched.
When I'm not playing, the main thing is to stay loose on the bench. As innings go on, I like to stretch and move around. You never know what's going to happen in any game situation. I think you need to focus on the little things that help keep you thinking along with the game, like who's throwing in the bullpen at any given time.
Other than that, I try to keep my teammates positive. It helps to have fun and try not to be too serious while you're sitting there.
Defensively, I don't really have a problem staying sharp. It feels very natural for me out in center field. I also try to get reads off the bat during batting practice when I'm on the corners. Center field is where I feel most comfortable, though.
While my role with the team has changed, my workouts have remained the same. I try to work out with Allen Thomas, our strength and conditioning coach, as much as possible. Some days I rest and do some ab work.
You can't really work out every day or you're going to break down. A big part of staying in shape is taking care of your body, which requires an equal mixture of hard work and rest.
It comes down to being prepared physically and mentally. When I do get the opportunity to string some at-bats together and play a few days in a row, I need to perform. And, at times, I feel like I've taken some good swings and had some quality at-bats.
Brian Anderson, the 15th overall Draft pick in 2003, has batted .230 with five home runs and 17 RBIs over 66 games and 135 at-bats as a part-time player this season.