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Nate's Flexing Toward His Best Shape

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I don't think a major league team's Spring Training can be covered without at least one story - but probably more - explaining how a player has showed up to camp claiming to be in the "best shape of his life."

Well, Nate Robertson has that beat by about a month, with a feature on MLive.com detailing his new offseason workout routine. Maybe he just wanted to get a head start, and make sure he got some of that "best shape" spotlight to himself.

Much of the conditioning work is devoted to restoring flexibility, which was cited as one of Robertson's primary problems last season. The workouts began with pilates classes, and then developed into a program designed by Tigers strength and conditioning coach Javair Gillett that he's been implementing with the Detroit Mercy training staff.

(Click over to the article for pictures of Robertson's routine, which includes a pose with a physioball that I'm sure I've made accidentally, falling on top of the ball rather than balancing upon it. Meanwhile, I've been doing lots of hand, finger, and forearm stretches to get ready for the season and offset carpal tunnel syndrome.)

Besides the conditioning, Robertson is also working to rediscover the slider that eluded him last season, and is following Rick Knapp's throwing regimen. Dave Dombrowski also mentions that Robertson could pitch out of the bullpen if he can't beat out Dontrelle Willis and Zach Miner for the fifth spot in the starting rotation. Robertson, however, prefers to start, as he feels he hasn't pitched well in such a role before.

In your eyes, is Nate better suited for the starting rotation or bullpen? If he beats out Willis and Miner, is that a bad sign? Or do you think the best move ultimately is to cut bait and try to move on?