Pitcher Parise Ponders Pending PCL Playoffs

Memphis reliever Pete Parise discusses the upcoming Pacific Coast League playoffs and more in an exclusive audio interview.

Memphis relief pitcher Pete Parise has the opportunity to earn his first title at his seventh professional baseball stop over the last three years. His Triple-A Redbirds begin their Pacific Coast League playoff series on Wednesday, their first post-season action since 2000.

The 24-year-old has traveled a long and varied road since leaving the University of Pittsburgh in 2007. Undrafted as a non-power hitting outfielder, the right-hander signed with the independent Frontier League as a pitcher. That was a role with which he began to experiment during his senior season at the school.

Just a few days later, the Cardinals acquired Parise's services. He split the remainder of the 2007 summer between Johnson City and Batavia and moved up to Quad Cities and Palm Beach last season. Coming into 2009, Parise had a 3.06 ERA and 15 saves in 62 professional games.

After a nice start with Double-A Springfield this season, Parise was promoted to Memphis in mid-June and has a 2-1 record with a 4.17 ERA and eight saves there. The right-hander has struck out 31 and walked 13 in 36 1/3 Triple-A innings.

I caught up with Parise on Tuesday as he and his teammates were traveling to Albuquerque to face the Isotopes in the first round of the PCL playoffs. We discuss the pennant drive, his repertoire, his changing role and much more.

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Brian Walton can be reached via email at brian@thecardinalnationblog.com. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog.

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