"A couple of reasons," said Middlebrooks. "I wanted to work with the training staff here, just to get my body ready. I want to be 100 percent. Our strength coordinator is here. Mike Boyle, he's got a miniature API basically. Not even miniature, it's basically the same thing. I can do that and my biggest [priority] was just working with the trainers and getting healthy."
Though Middlebrooks didn't make excuses for his poor season, nagging injuries might have played a significant role.
He is trying to combat that with a better training program.
"I know you're not going to be 100 percent. No one is 100 percent throughout the season," Middlebrooks said. "If you can be 85, 90, that's nice. There's a lot of things that go into staying healthy and creating good habits and that's what I'm trying to do."
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.