Alfonso Soriano sat out two games on the Cubs' last homestand and wasn't all that happy about it.

Manager Dale Sveum said he wanted Soriano to get more rest on day games after night games, pointing to his age and knees.

Soriano, 37, understands Sveum is trying to keep him rested, but he feels like he has to play almost every day to get in a groove.

"It's a little difficult," Soriano said. "They think night game and then a day game, and because of my age I need a day off. They say there are too many day games."

Soriano is a warm-weather hitter. He didn't hit his first home run last year until May 15 but ended up with 32. He had only three homers and 10 RBIs entering Monday but is confident he'll heat up with the weather again.

"I hope they realize that, what happened last (year), and I hope they don't give me any more days off," he said. "I feel great, but it all depends on them."

Mind games: Anthony Rizzo admitted his new $41 million contract is a "weight" off his shoulders, and he can focus now on the game at hand. Did the negotiations have anything to do with his early slump?

"I don't think it affected my play every day," he said.

Sveum said media and fans sometimes try to find things that don't exist.

"You never really know what's in people's minds," he said. "We always blame a lot of things on guys struggling. Sometimes you have to sit back and understand that (struggling) is part of the game. Not too many people go through all six months of swinging the bat really well.