Fisher dominating in his Lookouts debut
Saturday, May 12, 2007
By Wesley Rucker
Carlos Fisher didn't arrive in Chattanooga this week with nearly as much hype as super prospect Homer Bailey did last year.
But if he keeps this up, he might leave as quickly as Bailey did.
Fisher had a dominant Class AA debut Friday night at AT&T Field, striking out eight in six shutout innings to lead the Lookouts to a 4-1 win over Carolina.
Chattanooga (16-19) won the five-game series and dropped the Mudcats to 14-21.
"That should be great for his confidence," Lookouts manager Jayhawk Owens said of Fisher. "Shoot, six innings of shutout ball. What more can you want?"
Fisher, a 24-year-old right-hander, has excelled since being taken in the 11th round of the 2005 draft from Idaho's Lewis-Clark State College. He was 12-5 with a 2.76 ERA last year at low Class A Dayton, and he was 4-1 with a 2.20 ERA for high-A Sarasota before his promotion to Chattanooga.
Not bad for someone who didn't pitch until his sophomore year at Citrus (Junior) College in California and not full-time until the following year at Lewis-Clark.
"I used to be an outfielder, but I couldn't hit," Fisher said. "I could throw, but I couldn't hit college pitching."
Two of Carolina's three hits off Fisher came in the first inning. His only other rough spot came in the third, when four runners reached (on two walks, a hit batter and an error), but none scored because one was caught trying to steal third base.
Fisher struck out the final five hitters he faced -- two shy of a Southern League record -- and his velocity was still in the low 90s in his final inning. He also throws a cut fastball, a slider and a changeup, but his sinker was his out-pitch Friday.
"He didn't have the command I knew he had early in the game, but then he found his good sinker in the fifth and sixth," Owens said. "He showed what he was made of right there in the fifth and sixth, especially in the sixth.
"His pitch count was up, and he knew the sixth would be his last inning, and he gave me everything he had and did a very good job."
Fisher said nerves led to some early mistakes, "but I wasn't really worried about it because it's not like they were hitting my good pitches."
Said Lookouts catcher J.C. Boscan: "In the beginning, he was missing -- not by much, but he was missing. But then he found his command and did a great job. I think he had a great start. He's going to be just fine here."
Fisher helped himself in the second, squeezing home Marland Williams to give the Lookouts a 2-0 lead. Carolina starting pitcher Jesus Delgado fielded the bunt and tried unsuccessfully to tag Williams at the plate.
Chattanooga took a 1-0 lead moments earlier when Boscan singled home right fielder Cody Straight. The Lookouts added runs in the fourth and fifth on a sacrifice fly from shortstop Paul Janish and a double from first baseman Jay Garthwaite.
Mike Bumatay, Calvin Medlock and Carlos Guevara pitched the final three innings for Chattanooga. Each had two strikeouts, giving the Lookouts a total of 14.
Chattanooga received a familiar face at a new full position Friday morning when Rick Asadoorian was called up from Class A Sarasota. The 26-year-old Asadoorian -- a Lookout last year -- was drafted in the first round by Boston as an outfielder in 1999, and he played outfield in the St. Louis, Texas and Cincinnati organizations but pitched occasionally for the Lookouts last year.
With velocity in the mid-90s, Asadoorian re-signed with the Reds in the offseason and agreed to convert into a full-time relief pitcher. He was dominant in 12 appearances at Sarasota, surrendering just two earned runs in 14 innings with 12 strikeouts and nine walks.
The Lookouts open a five-game series at Tennessee today and will return home for a Thursday night game against Mobile.