Classic-bound Boggs to keep normal routine

JUPITER, Fla. -- Two weeks from Sunday, Mitchell Boggs plans to depart for Arizona, where he will begin preparing for the World Baseball Classic with his U.S. teammates.

The spring interruption prompted Boggs to begin throwing about two weeks earlier this offseason. His routine since, though, has been and will remain unchanged.

"For me, I would want to stay on whatever normal rotation I would have been on anyways," Boggs said. "I don't want to squeeze a bunch of games in here just to get them in. I don't want to try and force something this early. Right now, it's just getting all my pitches where I need to be before I get out there. That's a good place to be in without having to worry about arm strength and things like that. Now I'm just able to fine tune everything."

Boggs threw his first session of live batting practice on Saturday and will throw at least one more before making his first Grapefruit League appearance.

He also noted that if he approaches this spring like he has other camps in recent years, he should be ready for a competitive environment in March, when the three-week international tournament is held. That's because Boggs has typically reported to Spring Training competing for a Major League job.

Boggs said he has been in contact with Team USA pitching coach Greg Maddux since being named to the club's roster. The opportunity to work with one of his former idols is something also not lost on Boggs about this Classic opportunity.

"I can think back to when I was 12 years old and my favorite players were Greg Maddux, John Smoltz and Chipper Jones," said Boggs, a Georgia native. "I get to play for Maddux. I got to play with Smoltz. And I've gotten to play against Chipper. That's pretty neat."