The Cards' 2008 Pitching Staffs: Quad Cities

The final entry in our series focusing on the possible pitching staffs for each of the St. Louis Cardinals full season Minor League teams focuses on the Quad Cities River Bandits of the Class-A Midwest League.

For 2008, many changes are in store for the St. Louis Cardinals Class-A affiliate at the Quad Cities. First, the team has a new name that coincidentally is its old name. Most recently known as the Swing of the Quad Cities, the franchise will now be known as the Quad Cities River Bandits. Along with a new name, there will be new team colors. The team is under new ownership. The naming rights to the picturesque John O'Donnell Stadium were sold and the team's home field will now be known as Modern Woodmen Park.

The team on the field should have a new look, but there could also be a couple of familiar faces. Some will likely have moved up the ladder too, such as single-season saves leader Kenny Maiques and breakout starting pitching performer Tyler Herron. The Swing saw standout pitchers such as Brad Furnish and P.J. Walters graduate during last season.

Even though there should be quite a few changes in Davenport, one thing that will most likely carry over will be the "piggyback" or tandem starting rotation. As in 2007, the organization seems to have a surplus of arms for five rotation spots. To help get more work for its pitchers, the team paired four sets of starters, alternating each pitcher between starting and relieving while each pitcher threw four to five innings depending on pitch count.

The Starters

Jose Arredondo

Arredondo led Johnson City in wins and ERA while pitching most of the season as a 19-year-old. A native of the Dominican Republic, Arredondo finished the season with a WHIP of 1.03 with 41 strikeouts compared to 14 walks over 56.1 innings. He finished with a 1.42 ERA in five games during the Dominican Winter League season. Due to his age, the Cardinals may choose to leave him in extended spring training.

Brian Broderick (right)

The 21-year-old finished second in the Cardinals' system with a 2.55 ERA over 66 innings split between Batavia and Johnson City. The 6-foot-6 right-hander also showed good control as witnessed by his 53 strikeouts compared to only seven walks.

Gary Daley

Started the 2007 season but struggled with command and injuries. The 2006 third-round draft pick has good stuff with a fastball that sits in the nineties, but will have to get off to a good start or may find his way into the bullpen.

Thomas Eager

The 2007 fifth-round pick was roughed up in his minor league debut. In 60.2 innings, Eager posted a 4.30 ERA with 56 strikeouts and 27 walks. He did keep the ball on the ground with an almost two-to-one groundball to flyball ratio.

Shaun Garceau

Even though he finished with a below-.500 record along with an ERA close to five, there was a lot to like about Garceau in 2007. The 20-year-old averaged almost a strikeout per inning. The Cardinals will most likely keep him in the rotation for now. But during his time in the "piggy-back" system, Garceau went 4-0 with 1.78 ERA out of the bullpen.

Elvis Hernandez

The 22-year-old averaged more than a strikeout per inning during the 2007 season. Must show more consistency to stay in the rotation but does possess a tremendous upside if he can harness his ability.

David Kopp (right)

Kopp only pitched four innings after being selected by the Cardinals in the second round of the 2007 draft. An experienced college arm, Kopp could move through the system quickly if healthy.

Jose Mateo

The 21-year old led Johnson City in innings and finished with an ERA of 3.41. Most impressive about Mateo is his 2.83:1 groundball to fly ball ratio. Mateo needs to improve his control, as he logged 44 strikeouts compared to 24 walks.

J.D. Stambaugh

The left-hander logged 65.2 innings, tops on the Batavia staff. Stambaugh showed impeccable control as he struck out 53 compared to only eight walks. Lefty batters hit .328 against him even though he posted a 3-to-1 groundball to fly ball ratio against them.

Jess Todd

Even though some believe he is destined for the bullpen, the Cardinals will probably keep Todd in the rotation for now. The 21-year old had an outstanding debut with Batavia, striking out 69 in 58.1 innings including a WHIP of 1.06.

The Relievers

Wayne Daman

The 22-year-old (he turned 23 in October) was solid out of the bullpen for Batavia. Daman averaged a strikeout per inning while posting an almost four-to-one strikeout to walk ratio.

Justin Fiske (right)

The solid left-handed reliever posted an ERA of 1.03 in 26.1 innings while racking up 28 strikeouts and a WHIP less than one at Batavia. Fiske walked only four hitters and allowed only a .187 average against. The 23-year-old has a solid chance of starting the year at Palm Beach.

Dylan Gonzalez

The Pepperdine product finished with a 2.66 ERA in 20 appearances with Rookie level Johnson City. The 22-year-old finished with 20 strikeouts compared to eight walks while posting a 3.4-to-1 groundball to fly ball ratio.

Marco Gonzalez

Went a combined 2-0 with a 1.44 ERA between Batavia and Quad Cities. Was roughed up during Hawaii Winter Baseball to a tune of an ERA of over 11 in seven games.

Blake King

Started the 2007 season at the Quad Cities before being demoted to Batavia to work on his control. There, his control was slightly better (34 walks in 53.2 innings compared to 44 walks in 57 innings). Posted an ERA of 2.45 out of the bullpen for Batavia compared to an ERA of 6.25 as a starter. Hasn't been named as a reliever yet, but I think it is just a matter of time.

Jameson Maj

The college closer was a late sign and only appeared in two games for Batavia. Maj competed in the Texas Collegiate League before signing, putting up impressive numbers. In 24 innings, the 22-year-old fanned 26 batters while allowing only five walks. Could be a late-draft find.

Pete Parise

The former Pittsburgh Panther went 3-3 with a 4.32 ERA between stops at Johnson City and Batavia. The right-hander was much better out of the bullpen, posting a 1.35 ERA over 13.1 innings.

Predictions

Rotation
Brian Broderick
Gary Daley
Thomas Eager
Shaun Garceau
Elvis Hernandez
David Kopp
Jose Mateo
Jess Todd

Bullpen
Wayne Daman
Justin Fiske
Dylan Gonzalez
Marco Gonzalez
Blake King
Jameson Maj

Extended Spring Training
Jose Arredondo
Pete Parise
J.D. Stambaugh

Previous articles in this series
Memphis pitching staff
Springfield pitching staff
Palm Beach pitching staff



Dustin Mattison can be reached via email at dustin@whiteyball.com.

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