Quad Cities River Bandits Notebook: Week 16

Pitcher Trevor Rosenthal earned selection as Midwest League Pitcher of the Week after his one-hitter.

This week the Quad Cities River Bandits went 3-3, taking two from the Lake County Captains (Indians) and one from the Fort Wayne Tin Caps (Padres). It has been a long road trip for the team - they are making their way home as I type up this report. Tuesday July 26 is another league-wide day off as the Western Division teams return to their home turf. The Bandits have enjoyed a few Tuesdays off in a row but they have only one more off day for the remainder of the season.

Congratulations to Oscar Taveras on being named the MWL Player of the Week last week and to Trevor Rosenthal for getting the nod as MWL Pitcher of the Week this week. I know that several fans want to see them promoted and, since I support their advancement, I want to see that, too. However, as the River Bandits make their final push for the post season playoffs, as a fan, I want to see this team remain as intact as possible. This could be the first time the Bandits have gotten past the first round of the post season in more than 20 years.

If the team is going to make any major changes before playoff time, it should be in the bullpen. There have been too many solid starts this year that have been squandered in the late innings of the game by pitchers who haven't shown that they have enough talent to play professional ball. The six starters carry ERAs that range from 1.88 to 5.05. Mid-relief bullpen's ERAs range from 4.01 to over 15. Thankfully, the closers are able to come in and get some saves when needed but the long relievers are not getting their jobs done. Maybe it's time to bring some new talent up from Batavia to show us what relief pitching should be. With just over five weeks left in the season, it's time to do something.

As mentioned earlier, Oscar Taveras is tearing up the league. He is batting right at .400 with over 175 at bats. His defense is nearly as impressive as his batting. It seems sometimes that he senses the direction a batted ball is going to travel, even before it is hit. He's known as "El Fenómeno" for a reason. At the young age of nineteen, though, there's no reason and no real benefit to rushing him through the system.

This wouldn't be a proper QC report without a mention of Kolten Wong, either. He has been a great addition to the roster and is currently batting over .300. I think that he is a little relieved that the spotlight is shining on a few other players for a while as he settles in to playing some solid baseball.

My report this week is abbreviated, in part due to the fact that the team has been gone all week so I don't have anything to add with an eye-witness account of the games. Also, I've had a sick puppy at home that has distracted me for a few nights. I think he's getting healthy now and he's planning to get to the game with me again this weekend.


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