Third Baseman Mike Lowell believes the surgery and treatment he underwent for testicular cancer have made him a better player. His illness was diagnosed last February following a trade by the Yankees to his hometown Marlins. Thereafter, he had radiation therapy for several weeks, "Mentally, I'm definitely stronger," says the 26-year-old Lowell. "I went through the mental roller coaster. At first I was so excited about the trade and the season. Then I didn't care about baseball—I just wanted everything to work out all right." Lowell returned to the Marlins for 97 games last year, but it wasn't until the final two months that he began to recover his strength. Florida is hoping that Lowell, who hit 12 homers in 308 at bats in 1999, can slam about 30 this season. "I've gone through adversity that most guys don't have to face," he says. "Last year taught me what I have to do to get ready. I'm looking forward to comparing what I did last year with what I do this year."