One-on-one with Cardinal hurler Keith Butler

The St. Louis Cardinals right-hander shares his insights on jumping from Double-A to the majors.

Being the final pitcher of the game is something St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Keith Butler is very familiar with, having saved 25 games in 26 opportunities for Double-A Springfield last summer. The 24-year-old right-hander added another five straight saves as the club took the 2012 Texas League title.

After a brief stay with Triple-A Memphis earlier this season, Butler was back closing games for Springfield - before his surprise promotion to St. Louis on May 31.

Within a few hours of my interview with Butler, the right-hander was given the ball by manager Mike Matheny to pitch the final two innings of another game. It was in what would be a 9-2 series opening win versus the New York Mets on Tuesday.

Knowing his new role, but still very happy to be in the majors, Butler talked about his successes as well as his challenges and how and from whom he is learning in this exclusive audio interview.


Footnote: After the game that prior to which, Butler gave this interview, I found myself walking through an underground passage way at Citi Field. Just ahead was Butler, striding alongside teammate Edward Mujica, soaking up everything the closer had to say.

I waited until an opening to again thank Butler for his time as well as give him the news of his selection to his second consecutive Texas League All-Star Team, announced during the evening.

Querying me on which teammates had joined him, Butler was far more excited for Kevin Thomas than he was for himself. We parted ways as he prepared to board the team bus, agreeing that his return to Springfield is hopefully not in the cards.

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