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Monday, January 11, 2010
Hunter doesn't want to get tired this season

McKINNEY -- Rangers starting pitcher Tommy Hunter was at Academy Sports & Outdoors for an autograph session Saturday morning and discussed the offseason, his outlook for 2010 and, of course, the Alabama Crimson Tide. Hunter, who played at Alabama, enjoyed seeing the Tide win the BCS Championship game over Texas last week. Hunter said Alabama would have won the game even if Colt McCoy played.

"Alabama wouldn't have shut it down like they did," Hunter said. "It would have been attack, attack, attack the whole time. They were playing field position for a while. It was very evident. They were going three-and-out and punting, trying to pin the freshman deep in his own end."

Hunter said he was fatigued last year and has made some changes because of it. Here's a quick Q&A:

Q: Are you throwing now in preparation for spring training? How have the offseason workouts gone?

We just starting throwing last week. Last year, I was already off a mound by now. It was definitely a little too much too early. I'm trying to be a little smarter this year so I don't get tired in September. I just picked up a ball. We're going to wait a couple of weeks and then get off the mound and be ready for Day One, instead of being ready before Day One.

Q: How difficult were the fatigue issues for you last season?

It was tough. It's one of those adjustment things that people tell you about that you have to go through and learn for yourself. I definitely learned last year that starting that early is definitely not the smartest thing to do.

Q: What are your goals for this season?

I want to compete. That's the main thing. As long as I'm up here and I'm doing what I should be doing, winning baseball games, then I've achieved a main one. I have some personal goals and I'll get those together. We're not going to tell you about those yet."

Q: Are you planning to tweak some different pitches or take some different approaches this spring?

You've got to improve. That's something I'm going to try and do. There are certain things I can definitely do better. That's locate changeups earlier in the count and try to create another out pitch and not just have the curve ball and the cutter like it was last year.

Q: You want that changeup to be another out pitch for you?

I want it to be the changeup. I want it to be something I can go to that I can actually strike somebody out with if I need to.

Q: What are your thoughts on 2010 for the team?

We're going to be contenders. It's going to be a tough division. All the things that have gone, the different trades Seattle made, the signings they made. The Angels are tough. It's going to be a tough division. We're going to be able to compete. We have a good team and we're going to go out there and try to do something.