GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Gordon Beckham said goodbye to his good friend and hitting coach Greg Walker. In Jeff Manto, change might be good for the White Sox second baseman looking to rediscover his swing.
"It's never bad to have a change,'' Beckham said after arriving at Sox camp early on Saturday morning. "Greg Walker is one of my close friends so it's going to be very hard to not be around him, have him around because he's such a good friend. He's happy in Atlanta and we're happy with Jeff and we're just going to go at it.''
Manto won't make or break Beckham. A different voice can't hurt.
"He doesn't have to do anything,'' Beckham said. "He just has to be there for us and bounce ideas off of us and encourage us and I think if he does that, he's doing his job because hitting coaches can't do anything but give us information.''
Beckham has an idea about what he needs to do.
"The main thing I did this offseason was try to get loaded up,'' Beckham said. "Just try to make sure I'm back to getting aggressive in terms of when I'm ready to hit, I'm absolutely ready to let it loose. In '09 I was good at getting loaded early and slow and early. That's something I sort of lost the last two years. It had to be more perfect. I've worked on getting back a little sooner, make sure I'm loaded and having lag in my bat. Having that makes you hit offspeed, bad pitches all that stuff. You can get fooled and still hit it hard.''
Beckham arrived a few pounds lighter than he did last spring, when he was "too puffy.''
"I worked out and made sure I was in shape,'' Beckham said. "I started hitting in early December to start figuring out what I need to figure out. I did some stuff that I thought was important to getting back to being me, hitting wise. There's no real specifics there. I thought I figured out some things I needed to figure out. I got back to where I was when I first came up.''