Brothers seems to have found his 2013 form

Rockies lefty struggled last year, so he changed his workouts in the offseason

Brothers seems to have found his 2013 form

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Rockies lefty reliever Rex Brothers let others have their ah-ha moment -- a back-foot slider that fanned Alex Liddi to end Colorado's 13-2 victory over the Royals on Thursday.

The Rockies can't help but see the pitch as evidence that the funky stuff Brothers threw in 2013 is back, after going conspicuously absent in '14. Brothers just can't afford to commemorate the occasion.

"I don't, because I'm just in a mindset of making pitch after pitch," Brothers said. "If it's an 0-2 pitch or an 0-0 pitch, that's all I'm really worried about. It might sound cliché, but it's as simple as that. No change of emotion."

After dominating with a 1.74 ERA in 2013, Brothers struggled to a 5.59 ERA last year. At times last year, he felt he had found himself, only to lose the feel again.

Brothers pushed his mind out of the way this offseason. He changed his workouts to emphasize athletic movement over muscle growth. He also did most of his throwing with his younger brother, Rockies righty prospect Hunter Brothers.

Through it all, Brothers found his way back to the compact delivery he used two years ago, rather than the longer arm swing and higher leg kick that materialized last year.

"I started incorporating the athleticism to allow my body to do what it needs to do," Brothers said. "That was being away from everybody like my brother and I were this offseason. We played a good game of catch and took a lot of pride in it. We really challenged each other every day."

Rockies manager Walt Weiss, who noted that he has seen a "handful" of Brothers' best slider, said he expects Brothers to return to his role as the primary lefty setup man. The Rockies also have Boone Logan and Christian Friedrich from the left side.

"When Rex is Rex, he's setting up our closer," Weiss said. "That's what he did for the most part last year. He had some struggles and we took him out of the fire at times. But he's a guy who puts away games."

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.