Weeks like this make me wish that I were a travel agent! We lost a good leader and a good man when Jordan Swagerty got his well-deserved promotion to Palm Beach. My best wishes to him. Carlos Martinez joined the team and created as much buzz as any player who has come to Davenport this year. The starting rotation has him on the mound for away games for his first two starts. Kyle Conley was officially transferred to Palm Beach - another loss of leadership for the Bandits. Ryan Copeland also joined the pitching staff; I'm trying to find out if he's here as a starter or a long reliever.
Warm weather officially arrived this week with 82 degrees on Monday and 90 predicted for Tuesday! Let's hope that the warm weather brings out the best of the Bandits.
Here are a few factoids from the standings page: The River Bandits are currently 14-17 (.452), fifth in the Western Division. The team has won more games on the road than at home. In the Eastern Division, the Great Lakes Loons have the most wins but are in second place on percentage. Lansing is 19-11 (.633) and the Loons are 20-12 (.625) Burlington leads all Midwest League teams with a record of 22-7 (.759).
Officially it was 48 degrees, light wind blowing out as the game started. I was there; it was much windier and much colder. The Bandits' bats were cold, too, as they only mustered six hits for the night. Trevor Rosenthal took the loss as he gave up six hits and two earned runs, but the lack of offense did not help the cause. The star of the night was Cody Stanley; he went 3-for-4 and scored Quad Cities' only run. It's worthy of mention that his girlfriend was in town and his game was a lot sharper.
May 4: Quad Cities 4 at Kane County, 1
The Bandits took advantage of this Star Wars holiday (May the Fourth be with you!) to take the first game of their extended road trip. Jordan Swagerty earned his final win with the Bandits as he was promoted shortly after the game. He went five innings, had 5 K's, 1 BB, and 1 ER on two hits. Juan Castillo headed up the offensive effort with two hits in four at bats.
May 5: Quad Cities 3 at Kane County 4 in 14 innings with a rain delay
Seth Blair was poised to have a breakout game in Kane County but the rain had other ideas. Wet conditions delayed the game for 1:11 after the second inning. Couple that with the fact that the game went 14 innings and it was a marathon night for the team. With the delay, it lasted over five hours. Ryan Copeland made his Bandits' debut after the break and gave up two ER in three innings. The rest of the bullpen contributed as six pitchers were used on the evening. Chris Edmondson and Oscar Taveras each had two hits for the offensive effort.
May 6: Quad Cities 6 at Kane County 1
The bats awakened again Friday night as the Bandits again gave good support to Anthony Ferrara. Anthony earned his third win with a solid 6 2/3 innings night. Justin Wright closed the game with 2 1/3 good innings. Taveras, Stanley and Jonathan Rodriguez all had multi-hit games as the team totaled 12 hits. Taveras raised his average over .500 again. He's young, but I don't think it will be long before he is promoted.
May 7: Quad Cities 1 at Wisconsin 0
Did I say Wisconsin again? Yes, another series against Wisconsin! Carlos Martinez made his long-anticipated debut in full-season ball with four near-perfect innings. He allowed no hits, 1 walk, and sat 6 down on strikes. Kevin Siegrist came in as the reliever (I'll have to find out if this is a permanent switch to the bullpen.) and earned the win with five innings allowing 2 walks, 2 hits, and 2 strikeouts. Nick Longmire had the big bat on the game. He had three hits in four at-bats. Juan Castillo was 2-for-4.
May 8: Quad Cities 0 at Wisconsin 3
While each team only had four hits, the Timber Rattlers made a lot more of theirs and took this Sunday afternoon game. Zack Russell gave up all three earned runs but struck out seven in his six innings. There are few highlights to point out on this game. Romulo Ruiz is only batting .077 and could need some special instruction.
May 9: Quad Cities 4 at Wisconsin 5
Trevor Rosenthal yielded four runs in the bottom of the third inning; three of those were on a homer. In the first four innings, seven Bandits reached base on walks, one more was hit by a pitch, and they only made that count for one run. The club needs to make more of the opportunities that are presented. Chris Edmondson collected his first hit against the Timber Rattlers with a long bomb but it wasn't enough to get the Bandits back into the game.
This week's player interview is with one of my personal favorites, Nick Longmire.
Nick, what's your hometown?
San Diego, CA.
Where did you go to school?
Rosemont High School.
Where were you drafted and what did you do on draft day?
I was drafted in 2010 in the fifth round. I spent the day sitting by the computer with my dad, waiting for my name to be called. It was really exciting! I think I got about 30 text messages after I was called!
How did you get into baseball?
My dad played when he was younger. He was a pitcher. I used to be a better pitcher than hitter when I was 10 or 11 years old. I got into it through him - he was a big sports guy.
Growing up, who was your hero?
Ken Griffey, Jr.
Outside of baseball, who inspires you the most?
Probably my family.
What was your favorite team as a kid?
The Padres, definitely the Padres. Caminiti, Tony Gwynn, all those guys.
If you couldn't play baseball, what would you do instead?
That's a tough one. I'm really into fitness so probably something like a personal trainer or something like that.
In a couple of weeks you're going to be playing in Busch Stadium- how will that be?
It's really exciting! Any time you can play in a major league stadium, that's awesome!
What is your favorite movie?
Training Day with Denzel Washington.
What are you doing to make yourself more valuable to the Cards this year?
I think defense is a huge part. I take a lot of pride in the way I play defense in center. I'm trying to do everything on the bases, getting more aggressive. I'm trying to get more steals, getting into scoring position.
What is the best thing about playing in Davenport?
It's definitely different than San Diego! Except for the weather, it's been fine. It's just a little too cold for me.
What is your wildest fan story so far?
Actually a guy from Batavia last year went to the same high school in San Diego as my mom and I think graduated the same year, too. That was definitely weird!
If you were a car, what kind would you be?
I'd be a Ferrari.
What advice would you give to a 12-year-old about baseball?
It's a game of failures so don't get down on yourself. If you're not getting a hit every time, that's part of the game and you just have to stick with it. It's fun and it pays off if you want to play your whole life.
What is someplace you've never been but want to visit?
Outside the country, probably some place like Barcelona, Spain.
What do you want fans to know about you as a person? As a baseball player?
I try to be an exciting player; I want to be known as a dynamic player. I'm a pretty friendly guy and get along with everyone so if someone gives me a shout on the field, I'd probably throw them a ball!
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