Quad Cities River Bandits Notebook: Week 7

The River Bandits continued to play well with a 5-2 week. Infielder Jonathan Rodriguez is interviewed.

This week, the River Bandits started to play much better ball. They went 5-2 and probably should have won the other two games. It was a week of several roster moves as Packy Elkins and Keith Butler were promoted, Aidan Lucas, Ronny Gil, Colin Walsh, and Dean Kiekhefer made their first appearances as Bandits and Victor Sanchez rejoined the team. Yunier Castillo and Romulo Ruiz went down to EST and Ryan Copeland joined the DL.

Tuesday, May 17, Bandits 3, Chiefs 1 in Peoria

The Bandits looked very good against MLB Cubs' Randy Wells getting six hits, three runs (one earned) and only one strike out in his 3.2 innings. That's all they needed to get the win. Brian Tallet put in two innings for the Bandits on his MLB rehab game. He struck out five and didn't allow any hits. Anthony Ferrara got the win for the night. It only took seven hits to win this one.

Wednesday, May 18, Bandits 3, Chiefs 2 in Peoria

Kevin Siegrist kept control of this game. Even though he allowed nine hits in six innings, only one runner crossed home plate. The Bandits still need some mid-relievers to step up and do the job they were hired to do. Chris Edmondson and Jonathan Rodriguez each had solo homers and Virgil Hill hit a double. Greg Garcia went 3-for-4 and stole a base in this winning effort.

Thursday, May 19, Bandits 2, Chiefs 3 in Peoria

Zack Russell took another hard-luck loss as the Bandits only had six hits again. Thirteen Bandits struck out. It's impossible to put together many wins with that kind of performance. I'll leave this day's recap at that.

Friday, May 20, Bandits 7, Kernels 4 at home

This was the night that Bandits fans had awaited since Carlos Martinez joined the team – this was his first home start. He seemed to completely overpower the Kernels; throwing 97 and touching 100-101 MPH can do that. He struck out nine and allowed only three hits in five innings. This is the kid to watch. Boone Whiting gave up a hit in three innings. Hector Corpas nearly lost the game again. Each team had eight hits but Cedar Rapids committed five errors.

Saturday, May 21, Bandits 8 Kernels 3 at home

Seth Blair looked better than he has all spring. He stuck out six in six innings and didn't give up a run until the sixth when he allowed a three-run homer. Five batters each had two hits and two others each added one in the balanced attack.

Sunday, May 22, Bandits 4, Kernels 1 at home

Trevor Rosenthal made his return from a missed start and did a great job for five innings. He struck out seven and didn't walk any. Cale Johnson and Angel DeJesus did well in relief, too. Ronny Gil (.714) led the offense with three hits. Michael Swinson and Chris Edmondson added two each. I think they need more 5:00 p.m. games on Sunday.

Monday, May 23, Bandits 4, Kernels 10 at home

In the last of the "made for school kids" day games, the Bandits did not look like the team they had been earlier in the week. Anthony Ferrara seems to draw all of the early games. I don't think he was the reason the Bandits didn't win this game. Dean Kiekhefer had one bad inning, but I can't blame him for the loss. Aidan Lucas and Hector Corpas contributed to the loss, but neither can bear the entire responsibility. It was just a bad day. Greg Garcia collected two hits and Robert Stock finally had a multi-hit game when he added two.

Thursday this week is the game at Busch Stadium. I'll be making the trip and hope to see several of you there. Also, on a slightly off-baseball topic, the town of Joplin, Missouri is fairly close to Springfield. I would be very surprised if there were no Springfield Cardinals fans that were not impacted by the tornado and storms that followed it this week. My thoughts and prayers go out to all who were affected.

This week's player spotlight shines on Jonathan Rodriguez:

I'm here with Jonathan Rodriguez. Where are you from, Jon?

San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Where did you go to school?

I went to Manatee Community College in Florida.

When were you drafted?

In 2009.

Tell me about draft day.

It was a pretty chill day. I was a little anxious, I got a couple of calls. It wasn't anything big. I kind of thought the Cardinals were going to call because their scout in Florida was really pushing for me.

Who was there with you?

I was actually at the mall!

How did you get into baseball?

I started with my cousins when I was seven years old, it was a family thing. They all quit when we were about nine but I just kept playing.

Outside of baseball who is your hero?

Michael Jordan.

What was your favorite team as a kid?

The Atlanta Braves.

In baseball, who was your idol?

In baseball, it was Albert Pujols.

If you were not able to earn your living in baseball, what would you do instead?

I think I'll finish my degree in either accounting or meteorology.

You'll be playing at Busch Stadium this week—how is that?

I'm hyped, I'm excited. I get to see what might be my future - hopefully I'm not far from being able to play there every day.

Favorite movie?

Fast Five because about 70% of it was filmed in Puerto Rico - it was supposed to be in Brazil but they filmed it in Puerto Rico.

Do you have any hidden talents outside of baseball?

I play the guitar.

What are you doing to make yourself more valuable to the Cards this year?

I'm trying to improve every single number from last year, most importantly my average.

What's the best thing about playing in Davenport?

The people here are nice. It's a great stadium, a great city to play in.

If you were a car, what kind would you be?

I'd be a Suburu STI.

And what advice would you give a 12-year-old who wants to get into baseball?

Never quit following your dreams.

Where is someplace you've never been but want to visit?

I'd go to Europe.

Tell the readers one or two things about you, either baseball or non-baseball, that they otherwise wouldn't know.

First, when it's game time, I'm absolutely in the game. Outside of baseball, I'm a very open person and I'm easy to talk to.

Thank you, Jon! We'll see you in St. Louis!


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