Cardinals Interview: Pitcher Mike Parisi

An exclusive update on the rehab progress of the Memphis right-hander, who had Tommy John surgery last August.

In 2008, right-handed pitcher Mike Parisi's career was on the upswing. The then-25-year old had become a stalwart of the Triple-A Memphis rotation with an 8-2 record and a 3.86 ERA in 15 Pacific Coast League starts.


Parisi also made his long-awaited Major League debut on May 5. In two different stints with St. Louis, he went 0-4 with an 8.22 ERA in 12 games, including two starts. The New York native walked 15 while fanning 13 in 23 MLB innings. Opposing hitters batted .363 against him.


Back in Memphis by late June, Parisi suffered elbow discomfort as July came to a close. By early August, it was clear that surgery was required. On August 20, 2008, Parisi underwent Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery. He was then removed from the Cardinals 40-man roster in November, just prior to the Rule 5 draft.


Now, Parisi is back on the mound at the Cardinals complex in Jupiter, Florida, working on getting his game back to where it was last summer. I caught up with him shortly after his longest and most encouraging outing yet, on Monday.



Mike, it has been just over 11 months since your Tommy John surgery. Where are you in your recovery process?


On Monday, I started throwing curveballs for the first time as I continue my mound program. 


How many pitches are you up to now?


This time out, I threw 85 pitches total. 40 pitches were in the bullpen and the other 45 pitches were to live hitters. 


Where are you in terms of your fastball?


My velocity is almost back to 100%. 


How soon until you think you will be ready to play in games?


I am only a few weeks from being in a real game. The physical therapist says that I should be ready around the 17th of August.  


Do you know yet at what level you will be starting?


At this point, it is uncertain where I will be starting my in-game throwing. Maybe the Gulf Coast League, maybe Palm Beach. I don't think I will know until the day comes. 


How anxious are you for that day to arrive?


Honestly, I just want to get on the mound in a game and show everyone that I am healthy and ready to start working my way back up to St. Louis.  


Have there been any discussions with the organization about making up some lost time by playing this winter?


I may go play winter ball but that decision will be made by the Cardinals once I am no longer considered "rehab". 


This is all great news and I wish you best of luck the rest of the way. I hope to see you on the mound very soon.


Thank you.



Brian Walton can be reached via email at Catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog.


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