BOSTON -- Ask around the Indians' clubhouse about whether or not Asdrubal Cabrera's sudden power burst this year has surprised anyone, and the answers are mixed.
But for Cabrera, his new approach at the plate didn't happen by accident.
Cabrera was taking batting practice in Spring Training when newcomer Orlando Cabrera noticed something.
"He saw my swing and said, 'Hey, you have really good pop. Sometimes you should try to hit a home run, and I'm sure you're going to hit 15 or more homers,'" Asdrubal said. "And that's what I'm doing right now. It helped me a lot."
"He has changed his approach a little bit," noticed manager Manny Acta. "He started in Spring Training, picking counts in situations and letting it go, and not just trying to go for the singles all the time. He's still maturing as a hitter. He's only 25 years old. He's just now starting to be at his peak."
Cabrera entered this year with 18 career home runs over parts of four seasons, but his two homers in Monday night's series opener pushed his season total to 19, easily surpassing his former career high of six.
Count Acta as someone who didn't see it coming.
"Even this year in Spring Training, seeing him healthier than last year, we felt that he could be a double-digit guy, but never anticipated him hitting over 20 homers," Acta said. "So he's surprising a lot of people."
While Cabrera's rise in power has put him on pace for a new career high in strikeouts, his batting average hasn't taken a hit. His .293 mark heading into Tuesday's game with the Red Sox is the second highest of his career.
"It's impressive to watch him take BP," said Travis Hafner. "I think he always concerned himself with trying to hit for a high average. I think this year, he's tried to hit for power more often."