BOISE — Pitcher James Pugliese is the first to admit his season with the Boise Hawks last year wasn't up to his standards.
Pugliese went 1-5 and finished with a 5.37 ERA as he appeared in 15 games with 11 starts.
"I didn't do that well," said the 6-foot-3 right-hander.
Pugliese realized his mechanics needed a makeover.
"Sometimes, players don't want to change because they've been successful before they came to pro ball," pitching coach David Rosario said. "But sometimes failing is the first step to getting better."
So Pugliese spent the offseason making major changes to his delivery, in his legs and his throwing arm.
"I worked hard this offseason," he said. "I've made a lot of improvements."
And while some players might resist a return trip to Boise, Pugliese is embracing his new opportunity.
"I'm actually happy to be here and work on my mechanics," he said.
Pugliese won't have to wait long to see whether his offseason work has paid off. He has been named the starter for the Hawks' opener at Eugene on Friday.
"I'm happy to get this opportunity," he said. "I'm ready for it."
TWO MORE PLAYERS JOIN ROSTER
A pair of right-handed pitchers joined the Hawks roster on Wednesday, bringing the roster to 25.
Joining the Hawks in time for Friday's season opener in Eugene, Ore., are Mike Hamann and Trey Lang.
Hamann made seven appearances last season for Boise and comes from Double-A Tennessee, where he was on the roster for a week, but did not play. Lang pitched 13 2/3 innings in seven appearances last season for the Chicago Cubs' Rookie League team in Arizona.
AN UNEXPECTED WEEK
On June 6, 2012, Jasvir Rakkar was drafted in the 26th round by the Chicago Cubs, then that night in his third start of the entire season, got the win for Stony Brook over Central Florida in an NCAA Regional matchup.
Rakkar played a key part as Stony Brook reached the College World Series, a Cinderella run where the Seawolves were only the second fourth seed in their region to ever reach Omaha.
"I'd say that was a pretty dang good week," Rakkar said.
Rakkar, born and raised in Canada to parents who immigrated from India, was 6-2 with a 3.72 ERA in 51 1/3 innings for Stony Brook last season, then had a 2.70 ERA in 10 innings in seven appearances for the Cubs' Rookie League team. He will be expected to provide long relief for the Hawks this season.