The biggest difference for Kubel this offseason was not in determination, but in health. The left ankle injury that he battled during the 2011 season lasted into the winter and prevented him from running.
"I was able to do a lot more work this offseason," Kubel said. "Last year I had a foot injury so I wasn't really cleared to work on my feet, so I couldn't do cardio. I wasn't able to do that until the middle of January. This year I was able to get going in early November, so I feel a ton better this year than I did last year."
If this was the case, then it's a clear reason to the sudden decline. He felt well enough early on to post a .290/.365/.563 line through July, something that doesn't happen by chance. The hitting skills are there, even with him being one year older, and should lead him to putting together a very good offensive season.
Here's to Greatness