2008 Cards AFL Interviews: Justin Fiske

The fourth of our nine exclusive Cardinals interviews from the Arizona Fall League is with Peoria Saguaros left-handed relief pitcher Justin Fiske. The former independent league player discusses his 2008 season during which he was promoted two levels, finishing with Springfield, what he is working on in the AFL and much more.

Left-handed pitcher Justin Fiske may be one of the most unexpected surprises of the 2008 St. Louis Cardinals minor league season. After having been signed off the roster of an independent league club during the summer of 2007 and pitching in 15 games in relief for short-season Batavia, Fiske's primary goal in 2008 was to make a full-season club. He not only achieved that, but ended up as a starter with Double-A Springfield!

To top it off, the 24-year-old is one of three St. Louis Cardinals left-handed starting pitching prospects invited to the 2008 Arizona Fall League as a part of the Peoria Saguaros to play a relief role. This opportunity has allowed Fiske, Brad Furnish and Tyler Norrick to perhaps get a leg up on earning a left-handed spot with Triple-A Memphis next season.

In the AFL to date, Fiske has been the most effective of the three. In nine innings over seven outings, he has allowed three earned runs for a tidy 3.00 ERA. Fiske has fanned seven and walked four. Opposing batters are hitting .289 against him.

During the 2008 regular season, Fiske posted a 3.26 ERA across three levels, A, A-Advanced and Double-A. He struck out 96 in 85 2/3 innings while walking 35 and made ten starts for Springfield. Perhaps pointing to a future role in relief, Fiske restricted left-handed hitters to a .197 average while righties did better at .253.

The 5-foot-11, 185-pounder sat down prior to a recent AFL game to discuss his 2008 season, the differences between starting and relieving, his repertoire, 2009 goals and more.


Fiske pitching in the AFL

Upcoming interviews in this series: Shane Robinson, Tyler Greene, Tyler Norrick, Brett Wallace and Steven Hill.

Previous AFL interviews:
Manager Ron "Pop" Warner.
RHSP Adam Ottavino
LHRP Brad Furnish

Brian Walton can be reached via email at brwalton@earthlink.net.

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