Bong Aims For 5th Starters Role

Jung Bong came to Spring Training fully aware of what he must do in order to win the 5th starters' role this season with Atlanta: step on the mound with an agressive attitude.

The Braves have plenty of pitchers in camp and plenty of spots to fill in the bullpen. Even so, with the number of new pitchers invited to camp, some of the young pitchers who spent most of last season with the parent club -- because of injuries to veteran pitchers -- might find themselves back in Triple-A Richmond this season.

Jung Keun Bong is one of them.

But he is a left-hander, and as we know, that alone guarantees a long look.

Bong decided over the winter that he needed something more to impress manager Bobby Cox and pitching coach Leo Mazzone: an aggressive attitude.

He has changed his setup on the mound, moving to the third-base side of the rubber from the first-base side. That makes his pitch to the inside of the plate better and angles his pitch away.

"Leo likes it," Bong says. "I showed him that I have a lot of confidence to go inside. You know, left-hand pitchers throw inside. Last year I'd throw away, away, changeups, something like that. But this year I've got to change. I want to be more aggressive. It's a big difference."

Possibly a big enough difference to earn some looks as a starter.

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