Ducks starting shortstop Javier Colina, 32, is in his second year with the team and his 13th in professional baseball. He has played in the Rockies, Cardinals, Reds and White Sox organizations, reaching Triple-A in 2002, 2004, 2008 and 2010. In 2007 with the Newark Bears, he batted .309 with 26 home runs and an Atlantic League-leading 101 RBIs. In 26 games with the Ducks this season, he is batting .327 with eight home runs and 26 RBIs.

What was it like growing up in Yaracuy, Venezuela?"I started playing baseball when I was 9. I really started liking it. My mother pushed me forward, but I never thought I would play professional baseball."

Who is the best pitcher you have faced?"Randy Johnson, in 2000, during spring training when he pitched for the Arizona Diamondbacks. The first time, I was kind of scared because it was my third year in professional baseball, so I never expected to face him."

What worked during that 2007 season with the Newark Bears when you led the Atlantic League in RBIs?"It was a tough year for me because I could not find a job after surgery on my labrum and rotator cuff [in 2005]. I was working so hard to recover because I missed about a year."You've played with dozens of future major-leaguers during your time in the minors. Who was the best you played with?"One of the hardest workers was [current White Sox outfielder] Juan Pierre, who is a pretty good friend of mine. One of the most talented guys was when I played in Double-A with Gordon Beckham in 2008. He was the first-round pick of the White Sox that year, and he could do it all. He was a very mature kid.""When I played with [Cardinals outfielder] Matt Holliday [in the Rockies' organization], you could just tell how strong he was."

What was the main reason you returned to the Ducks for the 2011 season?"I don't want to stop playing baseball. I want to play baseball for as long as I can. I wanted to play for [manager] Kevin Baez and see what happens. For some reason, Baez is one of those managers who gives you confidence. He wanted me to be his everyday shortstop, and that gave me confidence. When you get to this age, it's hard to get an opportunity to play every day."What do you attribute to your 2011 success?"I just want to have fun. That's the key in this game. I've had some bad seasons in my past, so here in the independent league, it doesn't mean I don't take it seriously. I just want to enjoy my teammates and help my team win the championship I just want to play the game the right way and do my best."


Tomorrow: at Lancaster, 7 p.m.

Wednesday: at Lancaster, 7 p.m.

Thursday: at Lancaster, 7 p.m.

Friday: vs. Road Warriors, 7:05 p.m.

Saturday: vs. Road Warriors, 7:05 p.m.

Sunday: vs. Road Warriors, 1:35 p.m.

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