Bourjos working on improving his swing

Bourjos working on improving his swing

JUPITER, Fla. -- With the timing of his swing still eluding him, Peter Bourjos let the Cardinals know that he would take as many at-bats as they would be willing to give him this week.

In response, the Cardinals had Bourjos step in to face Adam Wainwright during a live batting practice session on Thursday, and they will start him in a back-field "B" game against the Marlins early Friday morning.

Bourjos has opened Grapefruit League play 0-for-12, but feels as if he is getting closer to finding his timing. The biggest adjustment, Bourjos explained, has to do with him getting accustomed to enjoying more rotation in his swinging motion.

It's somewhat of a new feeling for Bourjos, who underwent surgery last October to address a chronic hip impingement.

"It's created what I think is a good problem," Bourjos said. "Almost my whole career, I've felt rushed, where I've had to go get the ball. Now I feel like I can wait back and see the ball and have more time. It's just about bringing the ball back to me a little bit.

"The last few days, I've faced guys out there throwing 94 [mph] and I almost feel like I'm out in front of them, whereas before I would feel like I had to speed up to hit them. I'm just a tick out in front. I think right now I just want to get as many at-bats as I can to continue to work on that."

Bourjos timed up two Wainwright fastballs on Thursday, hitting one to the wall in center and lining the other up the middle. On Friday, the Cardinals will allow Bourjos to take as many at-bats as he wants in the extra game.

The Cardinals will pull minor league pitchers from their Spring Training Early Program and allow others who have been lacking at-bats in Major League camp to play the field.

Despite the contrast in results, Bourjos said he actually feels in a better place offensively now than he did a year ago when he went 12-for-37 with nine runs scored in Grapefruit League play.

"Last year, my swing felt terrible," Bourjos said. "It felt terrible in batting practice and during early work, but in the game I was getting results. But I wasn't feeling good about them. It's a funny thing where I'd go home and sleep at night because I was getting hits. But I wasn't feeling right and I knew that in the back of my head. Now I'm not getting hits, but I feel good."

So is he still getting a good night's sleep?

"Not as good," Bourjos said. "When you get a couple hits, it will make you feel better. But I'm in the right position to have success. Eventually it's going to come."

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB and like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.