MIAMI -- Third baseman Casey McGehee has made a major difference to the Miami Marlins this season, hitting behind prolific slugger Giancarlo Stanton.
With 21 RBIs in 33 games, McGehee has been excellent. But perhaps it should not come as that big a surprise since McGehee, 31, has experience hitting behind star sluggers.
He did it with the Milwaukee Brewers, where he hit behind Prince Fielder for three years. In 2010, Fielder hit 32 homers and had 83 RBIs. He also drew a career-high 114 walks as teams tried to avoid his power -- he had hit 46, 34 and 50 homers in the previous three seasons.
McGehee was the beneficiary of all those walks in 2010, hitting .285 and getting career highs in homers (23) and RBI (105).
One of the keys, McGehee said this week, is not taking it personally when the star gets walked to get to you.
"It took a while (to learn), but I think my time in Milwaukee helped me in those situations," McGehee said. "Hitting behind Prince all those years, I took the personal part out of it and understood what was going on.
"I just try to slow down and have a good at-bat. That's all I can do in those situations. Hopefully, I can have enough good at-bats during the season that they think about pitching to (Stanton)."
McGehee said human nature indicates that he gets a bit amped up when Stanton is walked to get to him.
"There is a sense of challenge," he said. "But I try to get past that feeling because it doesn't help you when you are in the box to think that this is a more important at-bat because they walked the guy in front of you."