Notes: Burrell wearing contacts
Outfielder said that corrective lenses make no difference
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- With the regular goal of making more contact, Pat Burrell got contacts.The left fielder was fitted for corrective lenses on Thursday, and spent a good part of Friday morning trying to insert them. Jayson Werth, who's been wearing contact lenses since his teens, offered advice. Jason Hill helped. While this isn't something Burrell asked for or feels he needs, he'll give it a try. "I could understand if I went to them and said, 'I'm not seeing anything,'" Burrell said. "I never complained. This guy gave me a screening and said, 'You need to come in.' I said I'll try them. They don't help." Burrell contends that his vision is fine, and he may be right. Still, red flags were raised during his annual eye exam because he didn't pass as handily as usual. He went to a local eye doctor earlier this week. There were whispers about Burrell's eyesight last season when he continued to take called third strikes. On Day 1, Burrell wore them during batting practice and said "the ball looked the same." Since he's only supposed to wear them for a few hours each day, he didn't wear them for the game against the Red Sox. He went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts, but is hitting .286 this spring. Burrell has some irritation and discomfort when he looks down -- common with new contact lenses -- but he'll see what happens. "I never had a problem with my eyes," Burrell said. The good news is that Burrell's sore back, which prevented him from taking trips to Sarasota and Bradenton on Monday and Tuesday, respectively, felt good enough to go to Winter Haven on Thursday, and he played again on Friday. His right foot, a regular issue over the past two seasons, even after surgery in the winter of 2005, also feels good. As for his eyes, hitting coach Milt Thompson said the contacts can't hurt. "Why not?" he said. "I think he's fine, but I think sometimes he takes balls that are very close with two strikes that you have to foul off. That's just my opinion. He's got them now, so we'll see [if they help]."
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.