It appears that no matter what combination of outfielders Baker employs, Dickerson has likely crossed the first hump of making the team. But he's no longer worried about, or at least publicly talking about, his role."At this point, we're all just here to get prepared to contribute," Dickerson said. "Wherever and whenever that is, I just want to be ready. I want to contribute to the overall success of the team. That's all I'm concerned about. When or where doesn't really matter." Each day before games, Dickerson likes to stretch a string out from his locker and stare down the line at three beads with one eye opened. He believes it helps with his depth perception. Before batting practice, Dickerson also takes practice swings with an odd-looking contraption that's strapped around his left knee and left forearm. The device is called "The Pitcher's Nightmare." Dickerson is hoping there's truth in advertising when he gets into the regular season. "I got it randomly and tried it out. I loved it," he said. "It's improved my hand position and getting through the baseball more. I don't want to get too crazy with peripheral tools but those two have helped me a lot." Besides better hitting, Dickerson obviously needs better health. Last season, Dickerson batted .275 with two home runs, 15 RBIs, 11 stolen bases and a .370 on-base percentage. He was limited to only 97 games because of numerous injuries, including a severely sprained left ankle. This spring, Dickerson has been both healthy and hitting. "I came out here and did the work and worked with Brook [Jacoby, the hitting coach]," Dickerson said. "I was lucky I got off to a good start and felt really comfortable at the plate. It's carried over throughout spring. Hopefully we can build from there and take it into the season."
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less