After two years, Kinsler finally 100 percent

By Todd Wills / Special to | 01/14/12 6:20 PM EST

ARLINGTON -- Second baseman Ian Kinsler said Saturday at Rangers FanFest that he feels the best he has physically in two years.
Kinsler, who rolled his right ankle in Spring Training of 2010, said he has been fighting the injury for two seasons because the sprain was so severe that a ligament became attached to his ankle bone. Team doctors used a platelet-rich plasma treatment a week after the World Series ended to separate the ligament from the bone.
"I'm able to work out and do everything I want to do with nothing holding me back," Kinsler said. "It's always been something for me. I'm actually having fun training. I'm 100 percent. It's the first time I can say that in a long time."

Kinsler put together a 30-30 season last year with 32 home runs and 30 stolen bases, but said he fought the ankle all the way to the end of the season. The injury forced him to run differently on his ankle, and changed the way he ran the bases.
"I learned how to cheat stealing bases," Kinsler said. "Picking up small things and figuring out how to steal a base. How to get the best possible jump you can."
It also impacted his power, he said.
"It took power away from me," Kinsler said. "I didn't feel as powerful as I have in the past. Being able to feel that is pretty cool."
Kinsler, who has played now in six seasons, said he is still interested in signing long-term with the Rangers. He said there is open dialogue between him and the team. He will make $7 million in 2012, and the Rangers have a club option for $10 million in 2013.
Earlier this offseason, Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said he'd like to start working on keeping the nucleus of the club together. But with the signing of Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish and the possible courtship of free-agent first baseman Prince Fielder, Kinsler said dealings with the Rangers have and should take a back seat.
"It's not frustrating," Kinsler said. "Baseball is a lucrative business. On the other hand, it's confusing when something is said and it doesn't get to the point. Obviously the offseason isn't over and there's still time. We're all about winning here. This could be the beginning of a dynasty in my opinion. I am always optimistic. Take a note from Tim Tebow.

"I know what I'm worth; they know what I'm worth."
Hamilton wants to remain with Rangers

ARLINGTON -- Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton reiterated Saturday that "there's nothing to worry about" with his long-term contract status, even with the club dabbling in the Prince Fielder sweepstakes.
Hamilton, who is in the last year of his contract -- he'll make $13.75 million -- said before an appearance at Rangers FanFest at the Arlington Convention Center that it's all about the 2012 season for him, and helping the Rangers get back to a third consecutive World Series -- and winning it this time.
"I'm focused on this year and doing everything I need to do to get ready," Hamilton said. "We've been to the World Series twice and as close as we've gotten, let's make the team as good as it can be so we can get that last out."
Rangers CEO Nolan Ryan said Saturday at FanFest that the club's meeting with Fielder and agent Scott Boras was "very preliminary." He was asked by a young fan during a Q&A session at FanFest what he thought of the meeting.
"We met Prince yesterday and his agent, Scott Boras, to try to get a true feel for where they are at this point in time in his free agency, to see if we thought there might be something there that would work for the Texas Rangers," Ryan said. "It's very preliminary and it's very early in any type of negotiation process. It was an initial meeting that we had."
Hamilton, along with second baseman Ian Kinsler and first baseman Mitch Moreland, all said they would welcome Fielder to the fold, even though it could impact them in different ways -- Hamilton and Kinsler on a long-term contract, and Moreland with playing time.
"To imagine our lineup with Prince Fielder in it is pretty ridiculous looking," Hamilton said. "Our lineup is already ridiculous. Prince has been consistent. He's very durable. With that short porch in right, and the way my man can hit bombs, it would be interesting."
Hamilton said Saturday that physically he is doing everything as Spring Training approaches. He was told by doctors not to rush things, so he has taken an extra week to recover. He said he started swinging off a tee four days ago, and will increase his workload to 10 to 15 live pitches this week.
When Spring Training starts, he will focus on the season and not his contract status. Hamilton said, as he did earlier this offseason, that he would like to know where he's going to be long term.
But he's not concerned about signing a long-term contract to put his past and alcohol and substance abuse problems behind him, or because his struggles with injuries the last three seasons.
"I could sign for two years or 10 years and the same thoughts and questions are going to be asked," Hamilton said.

Moreland once again ready to swing bat

ARLINGTON -- First baseman Mitch Moreland said on Saturday that offseason surgery on his right wrist went well, and he is on schedule to participate in all baseball activities when Spring Training starts in five weeks.
Moreland said he will begin hitting off a tee next week. His wrist is healing ahead of schedule.
"The only thing I'm behind on is I usually start my workouts earlier than this," Moreland said. Moreland played through the wrist pain going back to early June, he said. He was willing to do so with the Rangers getting back to the World Series again.
"I wanted to play," Moreland said. "I did the best I could to help the team win."
Moreland said Saturday that he is aware that the Rangers had "preliminary talks" with Prince Fielder and his agent Scott Boras on Friday in Dallas, but that he's not worried about it.
"It's the business side of it," Moreland said. "He's a great player, and he can hit. All I can do is worry about getting healthy and being a part of this team, and helping them win and getting back to where we were last year."
Moreland has been told he will strictly play first base this season, after playing some right field two seasons ago.
Adams "might be a week behind" teammates

ARLINGTON -- Relief pitcher Mike Adams had surgery to repair a hernia a few weeks ago, and said Saturday he'll start Spring Training behind his teammates. Pitchers and catcher report Feb. 22.
Adams said he'll start throwing in Corpus Christi next week. He said he had back pain during the season and was surprised to learn of the hernia after a visit to the doctor.
"Hopefully, by the time games start I should be ready to go and able," Adams said. "I might be a week behind, but I don't see it in any way affecting me beyond mid-March."