RC Interview with Brent Fisher

It's been an up-and-down season for Burlington's Brent Fisher. After being named the Arizona Royals' 2006 Pitcher of the Year, the southpaw sports an 0-3 record and 5.68 ERA thus far in his full season debut. Fisher got knocked around in his May 4 start vs. West Michigan, but he bounced back nicely with four solid innings on Wednesday. On Thursday, RC sat down with Fisher to discuss his progress.

Royals Corner: Brent, you bounced back from a rough start [Wednesday night] with a pretty good outing. How'd you feel about it?

Brent Fisher: I felt a lot better than any of my previous starts, really. My mechanics started working, and it was really the only outing of the year where I felt pretty comfortable.

RC: What kind of pitch count were you working on?

BF: Well, we started out at 65, but I got up to 100 in the two previous starts. But last night, I had been pitching kind of rough, so I think they just wanted me to end on a good note, so that's why they cut me off at about 70.

RC: I know you've had a couple of rough starts, but how are you feeling about your season so far? Are you happy to be out of Arizona?

BF: It feels good to be out of Arizona. But as far as this season, I've bounced around in my first four starts or so. But like I said, my last start was something good to build off of.

Fisher is happy to be out of Arizona

RC: You were pretty dominant in the Arizona League after being drafted in 2005, but you returned there last year and dominated again before finally making it to Burlington this year. Were you disappointed in any way that it took you this long? Did the Royals tell you why you went back to the Arizona League last year?

BF: Well, not disappointed, because I was real raw coming out of high school, even though I did well. I was still pretty raw and the changeup wasn't there -- which it still isn't 100 percent -- so I can understand where they're coming from.

RC: Are you noticing a big difference between Midwest League hitters and the hitters you faced in the Arizona League?

BF: Yeah, it seems like they just don't foul off as many fastballs, and if you make a mistake, they'll make you pay for it more.

RC: Could you talk a little bit about your repertoire, and explain how you go after hitters?

BF: I go after them right with my fastball, mainly. I mean, not fast, but I just try to spot it up, 88 [mph] to 91. And then, the changeup is coming along, so we've got to acquire that. And then my out pitch is the breaking ball.

RC: I've heard some people refer to your fastball as the "Invisiball." Could you talk a little bit about that, and was that nickname your idea or your teammates'?

BF: [Laughs] No, that wasn't my idea. I went to Idaho Falls at the end of last year, and for some reason I did really well up there. It didn't seem like anyone was fouling it off. It was like nine innings up there, and I struck out a bunch of people and they just started calling it that. No, it wasn't my idea.

Fisher hides his fastball -- the "invisiball" -- very well

RC: I've heard some of your teammates talk about how deceptive it is. Are your mechanics by design, or is that just something that came natural?

BF: No, that's just all natural. It's just the way I throw, I guess.

RC: What would you say you're working on the most right now?

BF: Definitely my changeup. I'm just trying to develop that, and we're starting to get it now where at least it's moving the right way and right action. Now we've just got to subtract some speed off of it.

RC: Did you basically just start throwing the changeup as a professional, or did you use it at all in high school?

BF: No, I never threw a changeup in my life really before. But as soon as I got to pro ball, they started to incorporate that. But now it's really important. You need it.

RC: What would you say your goals are for the rest of the season?

BF: Just keep building off this last start. I had a rough start, but this last one is something good to work off of. I'd like to develop the changeup by the end of the year. I want to have a good changeup so I can go into spring training next year with command of three pitches.

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