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“There’s no doubt. A lot of us younger guys had a half or close to a full season last year in the big leagues and kind of got our feet wet,” the 25-year-old second baseman said.

“The glitz and glamour of the big league kind of faded away and we started to get into a routine where we knew what we needed to do to continue to improve and continue to get better, and that’s in all aspects _ pitching, defense, hitting and baserunning. … There’s more of a confidence and swagger if you will, about this team going into spring training this year.”

On the opening day of camp, Hurdle implored the players to “set our bar on a championship level” and work each day toward the goal of becoming winners.

“There will be a group of men that turns us around here. It’ll happen. So why can’t we? Why can’t we be the start?” the manager said.

After all, once-downtrodden teams such as Cleveland, Detroit, Tampa Bay and Cincinnati built themselves up.

“How long will it take? That’s the one thing I’m not going to get caught up in. The people who judge the job I do, I can’t control that. But what I can push forward is the message, I can push forward practice, I can push forward the intent and the focus, and I believe my doing that will get the results.”