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Boxberger relies on 'unique' changeup

Boxberger relies on 'unique' changeup

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Brad Boxberger has managed to catch the eye of Rays manager Joe Maddon.

"Boxy, I'm telling you, man, that's some unusually great stuff there," Maddon said. "... Boxy's very exciting. [His changeup] is one of those pitches that's unique to him. A lot of guys throw changeups, but not like that one."

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The Rays acquired the right-hander in the trade that sent left-hander Alex Torres and right-hander Jesse Hahn to the Padres.

"I throw a regular circle change. It's kind of a standard changeup, but the action is a little different; it's kind of like a split-finger action on it," Boxberger said."

Boxberger said that he's not doing anything different with the pitch.

"No, it's just getting a feel for it again in Spring Training," Boxberger said. "As far as changing anything from the past, it's still the same thing."

Though his changeup is a quality pitch, Boxberger knows the pitch must still be used in harmony with his other pitches.

"It depends on the outing and who I'm facing if they're going to see more fastballs than changeups, or whatever," Boxberger said. "I do like to rely on it when I need to throw it in a fastball count. It keeps the hitters off balance, so it makes my fastball that much more effective, and vice versa."

Boxberger, who went 0-1 with a 2.86 ERA in 18 games with the Padres and 2-4 with a 3.61 ERA in 42 appearances for Triple-A Tucson, likes Tampa Bay so far.

"The guys here are amazing," Boxberger said. "The way they run the organization, I can't complain about anything."

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

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