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Getting to know: Michael Cisco

Right-hand reliever Michael Cisco joined the Travelers during Spring training after he was acquired by the Philadelphia Phillies. Cisco, who played college ball at South Carolina, was drafted in the 36th round of the 2008 first-year player draft. He is the grandson of former Major League pitcher and Phillies’ pitching coach, Galen Cisco. His dad, Jeff, and uncle, Chip, also played professional baseball.

What are your thoughts on being traded?

It felt like a good opportunity. Any time a team is interested in you, I believe it’s a good thing.

Talk about your experience with the Phillies?

It was good, and the past two years I was in AA and AAA. This is my third year in the bullpen. I was a starter, but the Phillies had Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay and Roy Oswalt so I knew my break into the Big Leagues would be in the bullpen.

What is the difference between starting and relieving for you?

As a starter, you know when you are going to pitch. Coming from the bullpen, you don’t know when you are going to pitch. I like it better because you can pitch more days. I’m an adrenaline guy and like the adrenaline boost.

You decided to go pro after your junior year. What led you to that decision?

I started as a freshman and had experience as a starter in the SEC (Southeastern Conference) for three years. I felt like that experience prepared me and was ready to gain ground in pro ball.

What is your best pitch?

I do have command of all my pitches, and that helps me out. Locating my fastball is one of my big things.

How do you prepare for games?

You have to be ready the whole game and stay involved in the game. Whenever the phone rings, you have to be mentally loose and ready. You’ve got to have fun down in the bullpen but also have to stay in the game, see what the hitters are doing and how the starting pitcher is setting them up.

Besides the Big Leagues, any goals or anything you are working on?

I try to do what I can and don’t worry about. If you do your stuff, the rest will take care of itself.

If you didn’t play baseball, what would you want to do?

If I had to do anything else in my life, I would want to be a country music singer. I started the guitar a few years ago and never thought I would enjoy it. I taught myself through the internet and have performed at some open mike nights in South Carolina.

What has it been like having a grandfather as a Big League pitching coach?

He has given points along the way. He has a solution to everything I throw at him. I have been able to pick up stuff from him and my dad and uncle as far as the experience and going through stuff.

What are your hobbies?

In the off season, I hunt and fish about every day. My biggest deer was a 10-point when I was in college.

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