TigsTown Q&A: LHP Alex Burgos

After an impressive 2011 campaign, southpaw Alex Burgos skyrocketed up the TigsTown Top 50 rankings. Recently, Burgos was kind enough to check in with us to discuss his new role in Lakeland's bullpen and what he's learned from last season's struggles.

TigsTown: Statistically, 2012 was a rough season for you Alex. You lost ten games, posted a 4.90 ERA and lead the Florida State League with 88 walks. Looking back, what went wrong?

Alex Burgos: I had a couple of good starts then all of the sudden, I walked a lot of guys one outing and it became mental for me. I tried so many things with my mechanics and nothing seemed to work. Mentally I wasn't strong and I had no confidence left. Instead of being aggressive I was trying to lob the ball in there and ultimately that made me get even more out of the zone.

TigsTown: On a positive note, what did you learn and take away from last season's struggles?

Alex Burgos: This game is not easy. When you are struggling you have to find a way to get back on track. Every player goes through this at one point in their career. The good ones figure it out and that's what I'm trying to be. Another thing I learned is that you have to have confidence no matter who is in the box on every pitch. Believe in yourself and you will be better off.

TigsTown: Who suggested the move to the 'pen this season? And, is it a temporary or a long-term thing?

Alex Burgos: This move came from the top. I don't know yet if this is a long or short term thing but all I'm focused on is throwing strikes and getting guys out. Whatever role I have, I'm gonna do my best to get the job done.

TigsTown: This season you've been a big boost out the 'pen. You've won two games and have posted a 1.65 ERA over 27 1/3 innings. Your 'stuff' and pitch sequencing appear noticeably sharper. You also appear much more comfortable against right-handed batters and you're pitching inside more frequently and effectively. What in particular have you worked on since last season to achieve these positive results?

Alex Burgos: I have worked on being more aggressive with my delivery and arm motion. I slowed my arm down last year noticeably and that caused me to be out of the zone. Pitching inside is very important especially at the higher levels, so I'm really focusing on hitting that spot more consistently. My pitches this year are much sharper than last year. I have that 2011 feeling back and it feels good.

TigsTown: Lastly, what is an aspect of your game that you feel is lagging developmentally? And, what are you doing to perfect it?

Alex Burgos: I feel like my fastball command can get better. I want to be able locate it wherever I want. I can throw my breaking stuff for a strike at any time, so once I figure out the fastball I think I will have a much better game. In my bullpen sessions, I'm mostly working on fastballs low in the zone, trying to stay closed so that my arm gets through.

A special thanks goes out to Alex Burgos for taking the time out of his day to answer our questions.

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