LOS ANGELES -- Five weeks into Skip Schumaker's first season as a member of the Dodgers, and with him holding a batting average of .119, someone helped him get back to the player the club thought it had acquired.
"I talked to my wife, [Lindsey]," Schumaker said after going 4-for-4 in Saturday's 5-0 win over the Rays. "She told me to settle down and believe in myself and stop pressing. I was pressing and panicking because of all I had done to get here. It hasn't been easy for me."
Schumaker came to the Dodgers last December in a trade for Minor League shortstop Jake Lemmerman after six seasons with the Cardinals. The Dodgers needed someone to back up at center field and second base, a perfect fit for Schumaker's versatile skill set and .288 career batting average.
Having grown up in nearby Orange County, Schumaker thought it would be a perfect fit, too. Then he opened the season 0-for-7 and 2-for-21. But since May 3, he is hitting .307, raising his average to a season-high .276.
"I'm much more relaxed. Just talking to her helped me settle in," said Schumaker. "You know, you come here and you don't really know anybody, they don't know what you can do, and you try to prove yourself and show you're good enough to be part of a winning team.
"That's why it's been absolutely gratifying to be able to bounce back from the way I started, and I just want to continue to do that."
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. Austin Laymance is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.