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© 2017 LaTroy Hawkins

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My Arm, Nolan Becoming A Star, The Team’s Status & More

The arm is feeling really well; a lot better than it did in the middle of spring training or toward the beginning of our season. All thumbs up right now and we’re just going to go day-to-day. But as of now I’m feeling pretty good.

Walt Weiss told me he was going to ease me back in slowly, and that’s exactly what he’s done. I can tell just from the last few days that my role is going to pick up in more pressure situations, which is fine. I appreciate him easing me back in and taking his time with me to get back into those late innings.

I crave the competition. Not the competition with my teammates, but I crave the competition with my opponents. I’m just going out there, trying to throw strikes and get ground balls. And that’s how I know when I’m feeling great because I’m getting ground balls. That’s what I’m doing right now and hopefully I can get in a little rhythm and continue to do those things for some good streaks.

Nolan’s a special talent. It’s kind of cool to watch him develop right before our eyes, and I think it’s pretty cool that I get a chance to watch it firsthand. He is becoming a star. He’s hitting the ball over the fence, he’s having some good at-bats, and he’s playing Gold Glove third base, as we all know he’s done and will continue to do. I think it’s just a pleasure to watch him blossom firsthand.

Most of the rumors about Tulo are media-driven. And he does a great job of handling that situation and compartmentalizing it and just going out there and playing his game. You know what, this game is a business first and foremost, and if the Rockies so choose to trade him, they’re going to have to get the world. I’m talking some top-of-the-line pitching. Pitching is at such a premium these days, I don’t know if they can get that. That’s just my personal opinion. It’s a very interesting situation.

Playing on this team, I think we’re better than our record indicates. But in all actuality, we are who we are and that’s a below .500 team at this particular time. But can we get hot and play some good baseball for the next three months? Yes, we can. But a lot of things are going to have to change. We’re definitely going to have to pitch better, and we’re going to have to score more runs. It’s plain and simple. There are a lot of things that we are going to have to do to get us to the point in the season where we need to be…and that’s with a winning record.