My career has been filled with extreme highs and extreme lows. It's been a roller coaster, but I've tried to keep a level head and know there is a plan for me. I've kept the mindset that, if I ride it out, good things will happen.

So, when I come to the ballpark, I try to keep my mouth shut and work as hard as I can when given the opportunity. That has paid off so far since joining the Angels organization last year.

I started in professional ball in 1997, but this was the first year I made a club out of Spring Training. I've also started my first game in the big leagues since 2003 this season. The fact that I was out of the game for a couple of years altogether makes this experience that much sweeter.

I broke in originally with Detroit, but that was a long time ago. I pitched in three games one year and in 11 games the next. Looking back on that early part of my career, I just wish that I knew then what I know now.

I was real young back then -- 21, 22 years old -- and I was on top of the world. I really thought I deserved everything that came to me. But that wasn't the case.

With the Tigers, we had a rough go of it for years. It was a hard time to be positive. You felt like you really couldn't show any emotion or what was going on with you because of all the other, larger problems going on around you.

It took me a long time to figure out what it means to be part of a Major League club. Those are all things I will never again take for granted.

During my time away from pro baseball, I spent some time coaching at the high school level. I also worked at baseball facilities and coached more kids. That's one of the things I enjoy the most. Even if I had nothing going on, I would always be coaching.

At the same time, I was keeping myself in shape and working toward another opportunity. I didn't want to feel unprepared if the time came for another shot at the big leagues. Fortunately, when everything happened, I felt like I was in a position where everything would pay off.

All of these experiences helped me get where I am now. I'm very fortunate to have another shot and to be here. I don't plan on letting my inexperience become a problem again.

With the Angels, there's a winning atmosphere. You just see people acting different. It's kind of hard to explain. People walk into the clubhouse and they say "hi" to people. You hang out at lunch and have a fun time at practice.

You can't really do those things on a very bad team. People tend to worry about themselves on bad teams. Around here, nobody worries about himself.

I've never been around a group of guys who focus more on everyone else on the team than themselves. It's no wonder the Angels have a winning organization. Now that I'm here, I see how it works.

Coming into this clubhouse has shown me what it's like to be around a winning atmosphere on a daily basis.

There were five years between Shane Loux's second season in the Majors with the Tigers in 2003 and his return with the Angels in 2008. Injuries to John Lackey and Kelvim Escobar helped the 29-year-old right-hander make the club out of Spring Training, and he was 2-3 with a 5.40 ERA before going on the disabled list with shoulder tendonitis in mid-May. He's currently on a rehab assignment.