This week, it is my pleasure to
get to know Marco Gonzalez, another recent addition to the pitching staff for
the Swing of the Quad Cities. He has been a very positive boost to the bullpen
since joining the team about a month ago. I have to admit, I was surprised when
I first met Marco; I didn't know much about his background, and I wasn't
expecting the perfect English. Then I figured out that he grew up in
Jon: Marco, it's good to have you here
Marco: I just love baseball. I wouldn't want to do anything else. I'm amazed every day that I get paid to play! I just remember that if you don't love the game, you won't be successful, you will fail. I love it every day.
Jon: What is the best part of playing baseball at the class-A level?
Marco: I think it's doing something you love to do. You wake up everyday and it's all baseball. I also really like the friendships that I make wherever I play. I love the travel and getting to see all the different stadiums around each league.
Jon: And what's the worst part of baseball?
Marco: I like the travel, but I don't like the bus trips.
Jon: What part of your game are you working on most to improve this year?
Marco: I'm working on staying back. I tend to rush too much, so I'm working on that, too. And I need to get my curveball more consistent.
Jon: When you get a day off, or during the off season, what are you favorite hobbies?
Marco: I golf whenever I can. I used to
play basketball, but my contract stopped that. I like to travel, too—mostly to
Jon: If you had to change careers, what would you do instead of playing baseball?
Marco: I can't even stand that thought right now. I guess I'd enter my family's business. My Dad is a contractor and my Mom sells real estate. I'd be working with them, I'm sure.
Jon: Who else on the team do you think you are most like as far as playing style or technique goes?
Marco: I'd say that Kenny Maiques and I are a lot alike. We both have that closer mentality. We really go after batters. We have a bulldog attitude—nobody can beat us but us.
Jon: What is the highlight of your baseball career so far?
Marco: That's easy! The best moment so far was when I signed my professional contract.
Jon: Nobody likes to put a date on this timeline, but I make everyone answer. When do you plan to pitch your first game at Busch Stadium?
Marco: Hmmm. I'm not the one to decide
that, but if everything goes well, I hope to be at Double-A next year for most
of the season. If that works out, I would hope to get to
Jon: Thanks, Marco. Keep up the good work! Let's clinch that playoff spot and get a few more games in the post season.
Swinging this week: (Who's hot) Although neither of them are trying to make a permanent change in position, I have to send kudos to Tim Dorn and Jose Garcia for stepping up to the mound (literally) in the 16 inning marathon against Lansing. Dorn pitched the 13th, 14th, and 15th innings and recorded several K's. Although Garcia gave up the eventual game-winner, he looked good for being a shortstop.
Tony Cruz continues to burn up the league on hitting and defense. Nick Derba and Antone DeJesus also are staying at the top of the watch list. Mike Schellinger had several great innings and was named the MWL Pitcher of the Week. On the record watch, Kenny Maiques is just four saves short of an all-time QC season record of 26.
Missing this week: (Who's not) I'm honestly having a hard time picking out anyone to cite on a downside this week. Tyler Herron and Shaun Garceau have each had rough outings, but only if you compare them to there stellar showings early in the season. When these guys get down to average, they look worse, but only because when they're on, they're REALLY on.
On Deck: (Who to watch) Clayton Mortensen just arrived. I didn't get to see his home debut since the game was played at . I have gotten to meet him and I'm already impressed. He's on his way to the top. Jaime Landin is coming back into the spotlight. His bat is coming back to life in a positive way. Daryl Jones' batting average is making a slow rise. I'm still hoping that he'll break out and show us why he was chosen in the third round.
Next week: I'll finish the series of pitcher interviews with Morty and then I'll have more introductions of the position players.
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