Feliz Battling Back

Feliz should be playing in the DR Winter League

Second baseman Anderson Feliz got into just 45 games over two minor league levels this past season after dealing with an array of injuries, including pulling his right hamstring, breaking the middle finger on his throwing hand, and then dealing with elbow inflammation. He'll return during Dominican Instructs, however, and should see some time in the Dominican Winter League.

"Obviously I don't feel good that everything happened at once because I had some goals to meet this year and the injuries didn't let me get to those goals," he said through the help of a translator.

"I do feel like it was a lost year because I couldn't mature as a player and as a person, my body. I couldn't give it my best."

He hit a respectable .279 this year in 140 at-bats with a 36 percent extra-base hit percentage and set career highs in on-base percentage [.374] and OPS [.781], albeit in limited duty.

Considering he was in and out of the lineup -- he missed nearly the entire month of May, played in just three games in June before returning in early July, then got shut down for the rest of the season by the end of July -- he never really felt like himself in 2012.

"Since the beginning of the year I was playing hurt," he admitted. "I wanted to keep playing and stay in the lineup. I tried to battle that but I was just hurt so many times over the season.

"I feel a lot better now. I have a rhythm going on right now. I'm getting stronger and getting all of those injuries in the past. With the rhythm I have going on now I think I'll be ready to go [this offseason]."

Unable to play in games at Instructs in Tampa, he has been able to work out and he's scheduled to see some real game action during Dominican Instructs later this month.

"I feel good because if I play over there and my body responds like I hope it does I'm going to play in the Winter League over there too," he said. "It's going to be big this offseason. My goal is to do this now and be ready for next season."

Able to put his injuries behind him and finally feeling healthy again, he knows getting more at-bats this offseason are crucial for him to return to the dynamic player he's proven to be in spurts over the past two seasons.

"I feel like I'm mentally stronger now. I don't think I'm going to be the same player next year that I was [last year], I think I'm going to be better," he concluded.

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