Found May 26, 2012 on
Fox Sports Midwest:
ST. LOUIS Newly promoted Cardinals reliever Chuckie Fick knows he's not the most conventional pitcher.
"I'm funky," Fick said. "I'm a different look."
Maybe it's because of his name. Maybe it's because of his low, three-quarters delivery. Or maybe it's because of his deceptive pattern of pitches. Whatever the reason, his funkiness has translated nicely.
Fick, who got called up to the big leagues for the first time Saturday morning when struggling right-hander Fernando Salas was optioned to Triple-A Memphis, features a sinking fastball that hovers between 88-91 MPH and a slider and changeup.
The 6-5 right-hander throws across his body, making his pitches hard for opposing hitters to pick up. He doesn't beat them with speed, rather he hopes to confuse them with a look they aren't familiar with.
"I've learned over the past few years that deception has a lot to do with pitching in this game," Fick said. "Obviously stuff matters as well, but if you can match stuff and deception, you can definitely be successful."
Fick posted a 3.86 ERA in 21 games for Memphis before the promotion but saw his ERA balloon from a microscopic 2.41 following a four-run, two-home run outing on Tuesday in Tucson.
The 26-year-old Fick, son of Cardinals scout Chuck Fick, was added to the Cardinals 40-man roster in the winter after posting a 2.30 ERA in 54 appearances for Memphis last year. He allowed just 44 hits and two home runs in 70 13 innings.
"Last year I had a pretty good year and I saw guys go up and down and of course I'm happy for them and I kept telling myself I just have to wait my turn," Fick said. "And then I got on the 40-man and just wanted to replicate what I did last year and I knew my time would come.
"I've been doing quite well down there. That Arizona air got me (on Tuesday). I kind of lost my slider the first month of the season but I really got it back the last week or so. Everything has been down in the zone so hopefully I can continue to do that here."
Fick acknowledges that he was even funkier before deciding recently to cut his hair. Gone are the John Axford-type locks, but here to stay, at least he hopes, is his deceptiveness.
But where did it all start?
"A few years ago in A-ball, (pitching coach) Dennis Martinez said I reminded him of Blackjack McDowell," Fick said. "I've kind of gone from there with it. My uncle is really good friends with the Weaver brothers, and I heard that comparison as well, especially when I had long hair. I'm definitely not as good as them, but I've kind of taken everything I've been taught and put it together."
The Cardinals hope Fick and his funkiness can help jumpstart their struggling bullpen.
Salas had a 6.32 ERA in 18 games, allowing 32 base runners in 15 23 innings. In seven May appearances, the right-hander had a 8.22 ERA and issued 11 hits and seven walks in just 7 23 innings.
"We need him, we need to get him right," said manager Mike Matheny. "The best opportunity for him to do that is go get some consistent work in a different atmosphere. That wasn't anything except a move that we know for the long haul, we have to have Fernando Salas right."
After finding out about the promotion late Friday night, Fick expected his mom, dad, fiance, sister, brother in law, aunt and uncle to make it to St. Louis in time for the Cardinals' 6:15 p.m. game against the Philadelphia Phillies.
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The following release was provided by FOX Sports Midwest. I am more than pleased to do my small part in helping to promote this very worthy effort.
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