The 39-year-old pitched in the majors for St. Louis from 2002-04 and later appeared with the 2007 Washington Nationals. As a minor leaguer, Simontacchi pitched in the Royals, Pirates and Twins organizations and competed in independent ball in 1998, 2006, 2008 and 2010. He also pitched for Team Italy in the 2000 Olympics after playing in the Italian League that season.
Now in coaching central Illinois, "the Simo Man" (as he was nicknamed by Mike Shannon), is charged with the care and development of a dozen young arms. In the following audio interview, he discusses the starters he currently has and the ones who have already graduated to Palm Beach - and in one case, Springfield - as well as members of the Midwest League club's relief corps.
Other Peoria interviews ahead include outfielder Charlie Tilson, third baseman Patrick Wisdom and pitcher Mike Mayers. Memphis, Springfield and St. Louis subjects will follow.
Brian Walton can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.
© 2013 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com and stlcardinals.scout.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.