Quad Cities Bandits Notebook: 2012 Week 10

Outfielder Nick Martini from the St. Louis Cardinals' Midwest League affiliate speaks.

With just six games left in the first half, the Quad Cities River Bandits have dropped to fifth place, 5.5 games out of clinching a playoff spot. The club has been on the road all week so I don't have any eyewitness accounts to share this time around. On Sunday and Monday, they scored 15 or more runs against Burlington in each game but Sunday was a huge disappointment as they allowed 16 runs and lost the contest.

Tyler Rahmatulla was named the Midwest League Player of the Week as he simply crushed the ball all week. He went 6-for-6 with two home runs in the Sunday loss to Burlington. Congratulations to Tyler, our first POW of the year.

Anthony Garcia is also a sleeper who seems to be waking. He has had some good hits with eight in his last 16 at-bats over three games, including a home run and four RBI.

On the downside, the Bandits' bullpen is getting shakier and shakier and it wasn't very strong to start. When the starters keep the opponent off the bases and leave the game with a 6-7 run lead, they shouldn't have to worry about a loss, but that worry is there. I don't know what the exact problem is, but it needs to be identified and corrected soon. I don't like to name names, but Willy Paulino scares me whenever he takes the mound. Monday night, he gave up four earned runs on three hits, including two homers.

I had the opportunity to talk with Nick Martini before the team left for Kane County. Here's part of the conversation:

Jon Popham: Where are you from?

Nick Martini: Chicago, IL

JP: What school did you attend?

NM: I went to Kansas State University.

JP: What is your favorite meal?

NM: I'd say it's steak and a baked potato.

JP: Describe your daily routine - what do you do to keep your days on track?

NM: I usually get up early and get breakfast - I don't like to miss breakfast. I try to get something healthy for lunch, grilled chicken or something like that. Then I keep the same pre-game routine every day.

JP: What is the worst thing about playing professional baseball?

NM: If I had to pick a worst thing, it's probably the mental grind.

JP: What is the best thing?

NM: Being able to play every day and being able to play a game you love for a living!

JP: What major league player do you emulate?

NM: You know, that's something I've never really thought about. I just try to play my game.

JP: How did you get your start in baseball?

NM: My family has always played it. Even my grandparents played, so it was a natural fit for me.

JP: What do you like to do in your down time?

NM: I like to play video games and hang out with friends.

JP: Who on the team has a hidden talent?

NM: Matt Williams can play the guitar and sing pretty well.

JP: What's the most important thing you've learned so far this summer?

NM: I've learned to stay positive in every aspect of the game, and never getting down, even when we play so much.

JP: Who in your life inspires you to be great?

NM: My parents, for sure. They know how to get the best out of me.

JP: What part of your game has improved the most this summer?

NM: It's the mental aspect - getting over the struggles and things like that.

JP: What part of your game are you working to improve?

NM: I'm always working on the all-around game, trying to get better every day.

JP: Who is the nicest guy on the team?

NM: Robert Stock.

JP: What is the best thing about living in Davenport?

NM: The restaurants!

JP: Which is your favorite?

NM: Texas Roadhouse!

JP: If you could go anywhere on vacation at the end of the season, where would you want to go?

NM: Brazil.

JP: What advice would you give to a 10-year-old who wants to get into professional baseball?

NM: Stay positive. As long as you do that, you can make it as far as you can.

JP: What do you want fans to know about you that they can't learn from reading your stats?

NM: I do everything except baseball right handed.

Once again, I invite you to message me on the forum if you have any questions that you would like me to ask a specific player. I will do my best to get an answer for you!

Thanks for reading!

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