BRADENTON, Fla. (KDKA) – Jeff Karstens is excited for the upcoming season and joined The Fan Morning Show Thursday to talk about it.

“This is really the only place I wanted to play,” Karstens said. “I wouldn’t want to be at home watching these guys do what they do, winning and stuff like that. I want to be a part of it, and that’s why I decided to come back,” Kastens said.

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He also wants to strike a balance between being careful with his body and being a competitor.

“They tell me to listen to my body and in years past, I tried to be a little more than what I should have,” Karstens said. “I feel good, and we’ve got a program in place, and I’m very excited.”

“I’m going to pitch through September this year, I know that,” Karstens said. “I have a number in my head, and I’m going to get there. It’ll be the first time I get there, but I’m going to do it.”

“We’re in a situation where I need to go out there and I need to pitch, because I feel like I give us a good chance to win. But at the same time, if I’m hurt, I’m not doing my team any good.”

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Karstens also said the team has learned some lessons from last season’s late slide that saw them fall out of contention.

“[We] can’t ride Cutch and A.J. the whole way there,” Karstens said. “As long as we go out there and just stay within what we can do ourselves, we’ll be fine.”

When asked about the team’s progression, Karstens said now is the time to step up.

“The time is now. We’ve got to do something. If we take a step back, it’d be a major disaster for us.”

Listen to the full interview here:

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