Kranitz on Bergesen

My ears are still ringing from the sound of Billy Butler's line drive smacking off Brad Bergesen's left shin.

Imagine how it sounds to Bergesen.

He'll be a full-go in spring training after a long and painful recovery, but I keep wondering how he'll react to the first ball that's hit up the middle. And the second and third.

I don't know about Bergesen, but I'll be flinching.

"I've seen it happen more when guys get hit above the shoulders, somewhere in that area, where it really makes an effect," pitching coach Rick Kranitz said. "I've been hit many times in the legs and you just don't think about it.

"I know he missed a substantial amount of time, but he's not that kind of guy, I don't believe, that even thinks about that kind of stuff. He's a different breed. All he does is pound that strike zone. I don't see him changing one bit. And I'm just glad we know his leg is healthy and he can get a nice, fresh start, because this guy really threw well.

"I will say that if he had not been hurt, he would have plenty of votes for the Rookie of the Year because his numbers were standing right up against everybody else's at that particular time.

"I'm just happy that he's back and I expect good things from him."

So do I. And may that first line drive find his glove instead of his shinbone.

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