Change for the better: Boggs reworks repertoire

Change for the better: Boggs reworks repertoire

JUPITER, Fla. -- After almost entirely discarding the pitch upon his move to the bullpen, Mitchell Boggs will deliberately throw more changeups this spring in an effort to work the pitch back into his regular repertoire.

Boggs has not relied on the changeup much at all since 2009, which was also the last season in which he started a Major League game. The percentage of changeups thrown during his 61 relief appearances in 2010 dipped to 1.2 percent. It was nearly the same (1.3 percent) in 51 games with St. Louis last year.

While Boggs will still continue to rely predominantly on his fastball and slider, having the changeup again at his disposal should only help Boggs take another step forward toward establishing himself as a critical piece in the Cardinals' bullpen.

"It's something that I'm going to have to commit to [throwing], which I haven't done in the past," Boggs said. "But I think if I can do that, it'll make all the other stuff that much better. If it wasn't already a good pitch, I wouldn't bother with it. But I think it's something I can compete with."

Boggs, who posted a 3.56 ERA with 48 strikeouts and 21 walks in 60 2/3 innings last year, is one of several right-handed relievers attempting to secure a 'pen spot during Spring Training.