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Sports Article
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Mayza Taking Newfound Confidence to Spring Training
Written by Bradley Schlegel Correspondent

Armed with a new pitch and a more aggressive mindset, Tim Mayza of Pennsburg is only days away from heading to minor league spring training with the Toronto Blue Jays in Dunedin, Florida.

        During a five-week stint in extended spring training last season, Tim Mayza learned to simplify his delivery and his pitching approach.

        In early March, the 24-year-old will head to minor league spring training with the Toronto Blue Jays in Dunedin, Fla. with a new pitch and a more aggressive mindset.

        "My goal is to attack the hitters," said Mayza, a graduate of Upper Perkiomen High School. "From the time I got drafted, I gave them too much credit."

        The hard-throwing left-hander hopes to build on a successful 2015 season with the Lansing Lugnuts. Working out of the bullpen with for the Class A Midwest League team, Mayza went 3-2 with a 3.07 ERA. In 55 2/3 innings, he registered 62 strikeouts.

        The 6-foot-3, 220-pounder rebounded from a challenging start to his season. He recorded three saves and finished seven other games.

        "Last year was a huge help," Mayza said. "My mindset has really improved."

        Utilizing a high three-quarter delivery, Mayza relies on a four-seam fastball that tops out at 96 mph and a sharp slider. This season, he plans to incorporate a changeup learned during the fall instructional league.

        "My goal is to attack the hitters and get ahead (in the count)," said Mayza, drafted by the Blue Jays in the 12th round of the 2013 First Year Players Draft out of Millersville University. "Then I can expand the strike zone with a slider or a high fastball."

        Mayza, who spent the initial two seasons of his professional career attempting to work to the edges of the strike zone, carried the same mentality into his initial outing of 2015.

That mindset led to a difficult performance on April 11, when Mayza allowed two runs on five walks in 1 1/3 innings in relief against Lake County. The lack of command led to his demotion to extended spring training.

        In Dunedin, Mayza worked on making his delivery repeatable. He said most of the progress was made during bullpen sessions.

        "It was time to simplify," Mayza said.

        In his return to the Lugnuts on May 19, Mayza recorded a save despite allowing two runs on five hits in three innings. During his next eight outings, the lefty allowed just one earned run over 12 relief innings while registering 13 strikeouts.

        In the fall, Mayza accepted an invitation to the organization's instructional league. Working with Sal Fasano, a former Major League catcher, Jeff Ware, his pitching coach with the Lugnuts, and Vince Horseman, a former big league left-handed reliever, he was introduced to a straight changeup.

        According to Mayza, the pitch would help keep opposing hitters off balance in outings beyond two innings.

        "The key is how it feels in your hand," he said.

        Mayza said the instruction helped him pitch with confidence and not give hitters too much credit.

        "It made me realize how hard hitting is," he said.

        This spring, Mayza said his goal is to earn a spot with Dunedin, the Blue Jays' top Class A affiliate.

        "I'm going to spring training to win a job," he said. "I have to pitch to the best of my ability. I can't worry about the things I can't control."






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