Lunch break: Joe Nathan keeps same routine

February, 15, 2013
2/15/13
1:00
PM CT
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Spring training might be longer, but closer Joe Nathan isn't changing a thing. In fact, to keep his normal routine and preparation, Nathan is essentially slowing the start of his spring training a bit.

Nathan won't pitch to live hitters until Monday. Most of the other pitchers did that this week, but Nathan is going to keep his pattern and, therefore, build up like he would any other spring.

"I feel good, we just didn't want to change anything," Nathan said.

Nathan is still throwing bullpens and building arm strength, but will wait to face hitters. He's also keeping a keen eye on the other relievers in camp, and he likes what he sees.

"We have some good arms this offseason and guys that may need some time to get back to where they need to be," Nathan said. "We feel like if we keep our heads above water the next few months, we get deeper in the pen the second half of the season. We could hit our stride in August and September."

Nathan mentioned Joakim Soria as a key addition when he's ready, but also heaped praise on Josh Lindblom.

"He's been in my group and I've been impressed," Nathan said. "He's going to help this bullpen."

Other notes:

* Adrian Beltre said he still intends to play in the WBC if he feels good, but he won't officially agree to play until the deadline in case something crops up.

"Sometimes you get injuries, and I want to be sure I'm 100 percent and nothing is lingering," Beltre said. "I feel good now."

He added that if he feels like he does now in the middle of next week, he's going to play. It sounds like he doesn't want to give a firm commitment just in case he has to back out.

* Lance Berkman arrived at camp around 11 a.m. local time to check in. He'll go through full workouts with the rest of the position players Saturday. That's the first official day of full squad workouts.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Adrian Beltre
BA HR RBI R
.324 19 77 79
OTHER LEADERS
HRA. Beltre 19
RBIA. Beltre 77
RA. Beltre 79
OPSA. Beltre .879
WC. Lewis 10
ERAC. Lewis 5.18
SOY. Darvish 182