While the Houston Astros played their first game of the 2016 season on Tuesday (a 5-3 win in New York), the Quad Cities River Bandits will begin their season on the road against the Cedar Rapids Kernels, the team that bounced them from the playoffs in 2015. There will be two games on the road to start the year, then another two against the Kernels at Modern Woodman Park beginning on Saturday, April 9. So just who's on the roster? We have you covered.
RHP - Albert Abreu: 2-3, 2.51 ERA in 46.2 IP with Greeneville
RHP - Rogello Armenteros: 3-2, 3.69 ERA in 61 IP between Tri-City and Quad Cities
LHP - Matt Bower: 4-1, 3.08 ERA in 26.1 IP between Greeneville and Tri-City
RHP - Ryan Deemes: 3-0, 2.01 ERA in 49.1 IP between Greeneville and Tri-City
RHP - Jacob Dorris: 1-0, 0.98 ERA in 27.2 IP with Greeneville, Tri-City and Quad Cities
RHP - Ralph Garza: 1-1, 3.89 ERA in 37 IP with Tri-City
RHP - Jose Hernandez: 2-1, 3.35 ERA in 37.2 between Greeneville and Tri-City
LHP - Sebastian Kessay: DNP
RHP - Kevin McCanna: 3-3, 3.72 ERA in 38.2 IP with Tri-City
RHP - Chris Murphy: 3-1, 2.25 ERA in 48 IP between Greeneville and Tri-City
RHP - Andrew Thome: 2-1, 0.77 ERA in 35 IP between Greeneville and Quad Cities
RHP - Adam Whitt: 2-2, 5.33 ERA in 25.1 IP with Tri-City
LHP - Alex Winkelman: 7-2, 3.93 ERA in 52.2 IP between Greeneville and Tri-City
Armenteros, Dorris and Thome each spent part of 2015 with the River Bandits, and according to the media release helped the Quad Cities staff earn the lowest ERA of any Quad Cities team since they joined the Midwest League in 1960. Abreu is ranked by Baseball America as the team's #12 prospect and can touch 99 on the gun.
As for the position players, 2015 draftees Daz Cameron and Kyle Tucker headline the list and will also be the two youngest players on the team on opening day, born just two days apart in January 1997.
C - Marlon Avea: .153/.238/.250 with 1 HR and 7 RBI in 24 games
C - Christian Correa: .122/.294/.171 with 2 RBI in 24 games
C - Anthony Hermelyn: .241/.329/..293 with 2 HR and 25 RBI in 57 games
SS - Osvaldo Duarte: .235/.307/.369 with 4 HR, 20 RBI and 17 steals in 61 games
2B - Brooks Marlow: .255/.299/.417 with 6 HR and 31 RBI in 56 games
1B - Dexture McCall: .295/.376/.400 with 4 HR and 37 RBI in 59 games
SS - Antonio Nunez: .250/.378/.286 with 4 RBI and 21 walks against 29 strikeouts in 40 games
3B - Bobby Wernes: .351/.438/.394 with 30 RBI in 53 games
OF - Daz Cameron: .251/.353/.309 with 17 RBI in 51 games. He has yet to go deep in his pro career.
OF - Aaron Mizell: .263/.330/.421 with 4 HR and 36 RBI in 69 games
OF - Pat Porter: .245/.322/.402 with 3 HR and 20 RBI in 58 games
OF - Johnny Sewald: .289/.413/.341 with 1 HR and 28 RBI in 70 games
OF - Kyle Tucker: .246/.294/.353 with 3 HR and 33 RBI in 63 games
The 2015 version of the River Bandits set the bar mighty high, pacing the league in wins with 88, but this year's version certainly has some potential as well. Outside of the big names there are players like Booby Wernes, who held the highest batting average among all Astros minor leaguers in 2015 at .351 in 53 games. Wernes also drove in 30 runs and got on base at a .438 clip while walking as many times as he struck out with 27 of each, so pairing him with Cameron and Tucker in the lineup could give the Bandits one of the best trios in the Midwest League. Wernes has yet to go deep in his pro career, so be on the lookout for his first dinger. Johnny Sewald also stole 31 bags while hitting .289 across 70 games for the ValleyCats as a 14th rounder from last June's draft.
There will be a lot to watch for this year in Quad Cities, and we will have you covered every step of the way!