Gomes earning raves with new delivery

Gomes earning raves with new delivery

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Brandon Gomes pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings against the Blue Jays on Saturday, striking out two and maintaining a 0.00 ERA in four appearances this spring.

Joe Maddon could not help chirping about the work of the bullpen hopeful.

"How about Brandon Gomes? Nobody's even talking about this guy," the Rays' manager said. "But gosh, he can't throw the ball any better than he is right now. He cannot. He's made some adjustments in his delivery -- his command has gotten better, the sharpness on his pitches. Really fun to watch."

When asked about those adjustments, Gomes noted that the biggest change came with the addition of a slide step.

"I was throwing before [bullpen coach] Stan [Boroski], and [we] kind of simplified my delivery and essentially made it a slide step," Gomes said. "My mechanics have been much more repeatable since then. I haven't lost any of my stuff. If anything, it's been better, and I'm quicker to home. So [there are] a lot of factors, it's just better overall."

Gomes said Boroski has been staying after him for a while to try and get him to incorporate the slide step.

"He was like, 'Why not?'" Gomes said. "I thought about it a lot, and finally we pulled the trigger."

The right-hander has also added a cutter to his repertoire.

"I think developing a cutter has helped a lot in commanding both sides of the plate to lefties and righties," Gomes said.

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.