Cory Burns promises there haven't been any magic fixes or an overhaul to his pitching delivery.
He's just being a little smarter and having more success now than he was in the beginning of the season.
A lot more success.
In his first 12 appearances this year, Burns gave up 11 earned runs. In the 32 appearances since, the former Arizona Wildcats right-hander has given up just eight.
He has a 0.73 ERA in his last 10 games and the former closer has embraced his setup role by not giving up a run in the eighth inning all season.
"For me, Burnsy is the MVP of the pitching staff so far," Tucson manager Terry Kennedy said. "He's done everything we've asked of him and more.
"He will have a chance at the next level. I have no doubt about that."
Burns was traded to the San Diego organization from Cleveland in the offseason and has flourished in his new surroundings. All told, Burns has a 3.09 ERA in 55 1/3 innings and has 64 strikeouts to 15 walks this season.
Burns didn't get a chance to add to those totals Sunday night because Tucson's game against Fresno at Kino Stadium was postponed by rain. It will be made up in Fresno during the Padres' road trip there in August.
The 24-year-old, who was an eighth-round pick of the Indians in 2009 after playing for the Wildcats, recently chatted with the Daily Star about his first professional season back in Tucson.
What's been the biggest difference for you since the first month of the season?
A: "It was my first time in Triple-A, so there was a bit of a learning curve. Working with (catcher) Yasmani (Grandal), (pitching coach Steve Webber) and Nick (Hundley), has helped a lot. I learned I can't strike everyone out. That's what I tried to do the last 2 1/2 years and I've been successful with that. Now, I'm trying to pitch more to contact and that's actually led to more strikeouts because I'm able to get ahead in the count and then go to my offspeed stuff."
How closely were you able to follow Arizona's run to a national championship last month?
A: "It was great to watch. I was in touch with (Andy) Lopez the whole time. Their first base coach, Brett Scyphers, was the second baseman when I was playing there. I also work out there in the offseason, so I got to know the guys and they're a great group. It was fun to sit there and watch them play. I watched them finish it off while we were on the road and it was a great deal. To see how the program started out at the beginning of the year and then watch them come together and win it all was something else."
What's been the best part about playing in Tucson again?
A: "My family can come out to pretty much every game, which is great. Also, I grew up in Arizona and pitching in Arizona is a lot different than pitching in other states. The ball flies out more and the ball moves a lot less. It takes an adjustment for pitchers that come from the East Coast and are used to throwing in places where's there's a lot of moisture. For me, throwing out here is something I've done for 25 years and I like doing it."
What was it like being traded for the first time?
A: "It caught me off guard. I didn't think of myself as a player who could be traded. But, obviously the Padres thought highly enough of me to make a move and I don't want to let them down. I've been working my butt off to get that done."
• Who: Reno at Padres
• When: 7:05 p.m.
• Radio: 1600-AM