Unfortunately for Lonnie Chisenhall, what happens in spring training stays in spring training, so he can’t carry his .404 batting average into the regular season.

What he can do is take the swing that produced that glossy average with him to Toronto, where the Indians open the schedule against the Blue Jays.

If manager Terry Francona has said it once, he’s said it a dozen times: ‘‘All Lonnie has to do is make sure he picks pitches in the zone that he can handle.’’

For the first time in his career, Chisenhall didn’t have to fight for a spot on the roster when he came to training camp. For two consecutive springs, Chisenhall finished second to Jack Hannahan, a career bench player, who was offensively challenged but played outstanding defense at third. Now Hannahan is gone and it’s Chisenhall’s time.

“Compared to the last two years, spring training is really different for me,’’ he said. “I’m able to take care of my work, and during games I can focus on having good at-bats instead of trying to impress people.’’

Chisenhall already has impressed Francona.

“There’s something to be said for a guy who can flat-out hit a fastball,’’ the manager said. “Lonnie puts a lot of balls in play because he has good hand-eye coordination. He will square up a lot of balls in the middle of the plate.’’

If Chisenhall is swinging with more authority and conviction, he thinks he knows why.

“I’m just thinking different up there,’’ he said. “I don’t have as much pressure on me. I’m taking singles in certain counts and trying to do damage in certain counts. I feel a little smarter than I did last season. I don’t know what happened last year, but I wasn’t feeling it.’’