Michael, thanks for joining Redbird Rants today for an interview. How are things going in Springfield?
Michael Blazek: Springfield is a great place to play because you are so close to St Louis and the fans here are by far the best I’ve been around. They are the most loyal and supportive by far.
Daniel Solzman: Flashing back to 2007 when you got drafted in the 35th round out of Arbor View High School, how long did it take to make a decision between going to college and playing professional baseball?
Michael Blazek: Back in 2007 when I made my decision to play pro ball, it was a pretty easy choice honestly. I’ve always wanted to play baseball my whole life and I wasn’t going to pass up my opportunity to play pro ball. I think it was maybe a day or two to make the decision after talking it over with my parents but I knew what I wanted to do.
Daniel Solzman: What’s a typical day in the life this season?
Michael Blazek: A typical day during the season is like most guys I’d say. I usually wake up around 10:30 and grab some breakfast and I’ll head to the field earlier than most guys to do my early work before other guys get there.
Daniel Solzman: How has Pitching Coach Bryan Eversgerd helped with your mechanics this season?
Michael Blazek: Bryan Eversgerd has helped me a lot this year and last year. It’s nice because he knows what I am capable of doing every time I go out on the mound and so when we do our work in the bullpen he knows what I need to work on to keep me going the best way I can.
Daniel Solzman: How would you compare Pop Warner’s style to Mike Shildt’s style?
Michael Blazek: Pop and Shildt both have the same desire to see their players do good and win, I’d say Shildt is a little more vocal when it comes to some things but, it’s like every manager I’ve had since I’ve started playing with the Cardinals, they all have the same desire to win and watch us play good, and if things aren’t going good, they will talk to us and help us get back on track.
Daniel Solzman: What is your favorite pitch?
Michael Blazek: My favorite pitch to throw is probably my changeup, but I have 5 pitches so it’s hard to say I like one better than the others because I like throwing them all, I think it just depends on which ones want to work the best that day.
Daniel Solzman: You got a taste of Memphis last season. Are you looking forward to getting back there?
Michael Blazek: I did get a taste of Memphis last season, and I am looking forward to getting back there and having the same success I had last season up there. Being in the bullpen now I feel like I have a better chance to get back up there faster and even a better chance to get to St Louis faster as well. But I’m just going out everyday no matter where I am playing and giving it my all because if you start worrying where you are or where you aren’t then it will keep you from being at your best.
Daniel Solzman: Last season in Springfield, you hit your first professional home run. What was that feeling like, being a pitcher and all? Did you get to keep the ball?
Michael Blazek: Last year when I hit my home run, it was by far the coolest feeling when I was running around the bases, it was sort of surreal and I couldn’t tell you was was going through my head. The fan who caught it brought it down to me and said “I know you’d probably want to keep this since not many pitchers hit home runs.” But I played short stop in high school and I won’t lie, I do know how to handle to bat at times…
Daniel Solzman: Thanks again and best of luck this season. Any final words for the best fans in baseball?
Michael Blazek: Thank you for letting me do this interview and I am looking forward to making it up to St. Louis hopefully soon, as for Cardinal Nation, I couldn’t be more thankful to have the best fans by far in all of sports!!