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Nobody is surprised to see Hendriks helping out. Everything he does is with a passion and care known well for his thoughtful work off the field as much as his intensity on it. Hendriks reliability in the ninth inning has earned him a solid reputation, too. But you wont hear Hendriks say it. He plans to earn the job again. I dont want to be complacent, he said. Going out there and making sure I put everything on the line every night is a big thing for me. The Oakland closer received a nice raise when he signed a $ 5.3 million, one-year contract last month to avoid salary arbitration. The 31-year-old Hendriks is approaching this season as if he has everything to prove once again. He plans to take the mound each opportunity he gets exhibiting the confidence that he can and will repeat what he did last season. The right-hander, a former opener for the As, went 4-4 with a 1.80 ERA and 25 saves over a career-high 75 appearances spanning 85 innings. I dont want to dwell too much on last year because I dont want to rest on my laurels. I dont want to go out there and be like, Oh, I had my good year, I can ride that wave as long as I can, Hendriks said. I want to go out there and prove that it wasnt a fluke. I want to go out there and prove that no matter what happened last year I still need to win the job this year. I dont want to be gifted anything. I dont want to be given anything, I want to go out there and make sure that in spring training I prove that I want this role, I want this job and Im going to run away with it and prove to everybody why I want it. Hendriks became a key piece for As manager Bob Melvin late in games last season as The Oakland earned the ALs top wild card before losing to Tampa Bay. Considering his topsy-turvy history, Melvin is hardly surprised by Hendriks focus. He got designated for assignment on June 25, 2018 and has been through that almost a half-dozen times now before starting The Oakland 7-2 wild-card loss at Yankee Stadium just more than three months later. You would expect that from somebody thats been through the trials and tribulations that hes been over his career, so I think it is more about him not relaxing at all, Melvin said. He wants to be pushed, he wants to earn everything that he gets. Hes come a long way. He had as dominant a year really as anybody in baseball. He has learned from other times when he thought things were going smoothly, saying, I dont like feeling like Ive got it in the bag because as soon as I do somethings always going to pop up, Hendriks said. I dealt with certain things very poorly in the past and my mindset to get over that was expect the worst and hope for the best, he said. Expect the worst and if something good happens youre able to handle it, rather than expecting things and if they didnt come to fruition, falling out a rabbit hole and being kind of self-deprecating and all that. Starter Mike Fiers appreciates Hendriks determination and focus to again show why he is fit to be the ninth-inning option. Everyone has their ups and downs, and thats similar to how I am. I dont want to just sit back and be like Listen, Ive got the job.
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