Shortstop J.J. Hardy, who played last year with a torn labrum in his left, nonthrowing shoulder, said he has been strengthening this offseason and it feels much stronger.
"Got started working out earlier this year than I ever have," Hardy said. "I've got about seven weeks under my belt now and it is feeling strong. Everything's feeling good."
The 33-year-old Hardy attempted to play through the shoulder discomfort for much of the season. He had his worst offensive season, batting just .219 with eight homers. He played in only 114 games, his fewest since 2010 with the Minnesota Twins.
"It was very frustrating and I think the shoulder, it was good for a little while when the cortisone was working early," he said. "It wasn't terrible, so I could play through it but it wasn't good either."
He had surgery on the shoulder when he was in the minor leagues and it took him a long time to recover. He decided he didn't want to go through that again, and believes the strengthening route makes the most sense.
"I hope so," he said. "Going through surgery once, I know it wasn't like a six-month thing when I did it the first time."
He said he'd be open to getting more routine days off throughout the season, but that would be up to manager Buck Showalter, not him.