Hitting coach Jeff Manto has no doubts that Adam Dunn's mission of hitting earlier in counts will lead to success in 2013, based on his preparation this spring.

“Where he sets up and how he sets up physically and mentally, he’s really primed for a great year,” Manto said.

Dunn, who hit 41 home runs but struck out 222 times last year, concurred with Manto’s observation on his preparation.

“I think I’m ready,” Dunn said. “I think every at-bat, for the most part, I’ve been ready to hit early. I’m not saying I’m going to swing early. I just feel for the most part I’m ready to hit early. First-pitch breaking balls that 10 of 10 times in the past I would have taken, I’ve put some good swings on them, got some good hits on them and hit some balls good on them.

“I’m very happy with where I’m at. I got two days left not to screw it up.’’

Dunn said he’s maintained his objective of concentrating more on a specific location rather than a specific pitch early in counts.