During the 2011 offseason, Michael McKenry went down to the Fall Instructional League to work on his hitting with Manager Clint Hurdle. Working with his skipper continued throughout spring training when McKenry focused on some adjustments at the plate. McKenry is already sound behind the plate, earning the nickname "The Fort" for his defense. McKenry wanted to improve upon his .222/.276/.322 line in 2011 with Pittsburgh.

What's helped McKenry has been the opportunity. The Pirates acquired the 27-year-old from Boston's Triple-A club on June 12, 2011, and for the first time this spring, McKenry knew he had a shot of breaking camp for the first time in his professional career. McKenry said that allowed him to have quality at-bats instead of panicking all the time.

"Just a little bit of ...

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