"It's important to get off to a quick start," Chisenhall said on Thursday morning. "I'm normally a slow starter, but I've settled down a little bit this year instead of being over-anxious trying to prove myself with one swing. I'm in a different role this year, so I've talked to a few guys who have been in this role before. There's more than one way to approach it, and I kind of like where I'm at right now."
Through seven games, Chisenhall has received three starts at third base and four as the designated hitter. During Thursday's 7-5 loss to the Tigers, Chisenhall served as the DH and churned out a career-high four hits (all singles), including two against ace Justin Verlander and one off lefty Phil Coke. Chisenhall has only had two at-bats against left-handers dating back to Aug. 9 of last season.
With that showing, Chisenhall is now batting .522 (12-for-23) with four doubles and five runs scored. No one is about to make too much of 23 at-bats, but Francona has been pleased with the early returns from the Tribe's former starting third baseman.
"He's done a really good job of staying ready," Francona said. "I think he's been on time more often. I actually think he has the ability that, when he really figures it out, then I think he can be dangerous for a long time. He's got bat speed. He's got the ability to adjust to offspeed pitches. I think there's some thunder in that bat."
Chisenhall said he entered this season with a new mental approach.
"If I started out the game 0-for-1 [in the past], I'd try to get two hits in my second at-bat," Chisenhall said. "That's kind of how I felt. It wasn't beneficial. ... I still feel over-anxious every once in a while. I just step out of the box and gather myself. It's been a long road to get here, but I feel better about where I'm at."
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.