Right-hand pitcher Mike Piazza is in his third year with the Travelers. Drafted in 2009 as a free agent, Piazza attended Florida Tech and is a distant cousin to the other Mike Piazza, the former Major League catcher. As of Tuesday, Piazza was 3-2 with a 3.60 ERA.
You were chosen for the first time as an all-star in Tuesday’s all-star game. How do you feel about that?
I’m excited, and it’s lots of fun with a bunch of my teammates making it.
Have you always been a pitcher?
I started pitching my junior year in high school and my senior I started enjoying it. Once I was a sophomore in college, I realized it was my best chance for the Big Leagues.
What’s your best pitch?
My best thing is I throw strikes and don’t have anything overpowering. My fastball is my favorite, but I’m the same as everybody else.
You started the season as a reliever and now you’re a starter. What’s the difference for you and do you like one or the other best?
I was a reliever at the beginning of the year, and I think out of necessity they came and asked me if I would start. I was a spot starter last year so they knew I had the experience. The pros and cons are when you are a starter you know when you are going to pitch but as a reliever you could pitch every night which can be exciting.
Any routine you do before you pitch?
I eat Jimmy Johns’ turkey combo before every start. I also listen to the same music which is country and drink the same drink (Verve energy drink).
So, the question has to be asked. Do you ever see your cousin, the other Mike Piazza?
I saw him in Spring training and before that it had been awhile. I’m named after my dad (so there a few Mike Piazzas). As a kid, he gave me tips as a hitter for sure. When I started pitching, he just told me to throw strikes and get ahead of the guys.
Besides the Big Leagues, what is your goal?
That is my ultimate goal, and I wanted to do that since I was a young kid. I’m going to work hard every day and make the plays to try and make that happen.
What do you like to do for fun?
I play golf and like to fish. My handicap is five, and I like to fish with my wife Melissa. I do all types of fishing and when I’m in Arkansas, I like to go to Lake Maumelle and Lake Ouachita.