CLEARWATER, Fla. -- In full midseason mode, Chase Utley was a ray of sunshine this morning as he addressed reporters for the first time this spring.
The dramatic highlights:
-- He is happy to see a bunch of players here early. "I think everyone is excited to get the season started," Utley said. "We're pretty hungry. Last year was a little disappointing. We made some good acquisitions in the offseason to make us better, so we'll see what happens. But we're going to have a lot of fun."
-- His thumb was "fine" once he returned from the disabled list.
-- He has made adjustments to his workout routine but would not divulge the secrets.
-- He has spoken to Ryne Sandberg and plans to talk to him often. "I'd be dumb not to pick his brain," Utley said.
-- How much can he improve from a disappointing 2010? "I always feel like I can improve."