Quad Cities River Bandits Report: 04/17/08

Our Scout.com Quad Cities beat reporter Jon P. returns with his weekly report on the St. Louis Cardinals A-level Midwest League club. This week, we feature an interview with pitcher Thomas Eager.

The Quad Cities River Bandits improved their record to 7-6 this week, maintaining a hold on third place in the Midwest League Western Division, five games behind Kane County. Wednesday evening was a perfect night to watch baseball on the banks of the Mississippi River. However, the River Bandits weren't at home. The game was in Clinton at Alliant Energy Field. If you get the chance to attend a game there, be sure to say hi to the friendly lady at the ticket window and ask for Stacy when you need food or drink brought to your seat!

This week has been a strange week for baseball in the Midwest. Friday and Saturday's home games were so cold that the new Bandits' owners offered free hot drinks to all the fans who would come out and watch the games. The Bandits struggled in the cold but it was a great weekend. Charlie Pelt hit the first "bomb in the river" as he mashed a pitch all the way to the Mississippi!

This week's inside look concentrates on Thomas Eager, RHP who will turn 23 before the end of the season. Another Californian, he spent some college time at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo before being drafted last summer. Here is what he had to say to give you a new look at who he is:

Jon: When did you decide to make baseball a profession instead of just a game?

Thomas: When I was in college and I saw other guys getting drafted. That's when I knew that I wanted to be part of it.

Jon: What was your best moment in baseball so far?

Thomas: No doubt, the day I was drafted.

Jon: In what round were you taken?

Thomas: I went in the fifth.

Jon: If you couldn't pitch, what position would you want to play?

Thomas: I'd be a center fielder.

Jon: Before you signed with the Cards, who was your favorite baseball team?

Thomas: It was the Giants (and they are still my team!).

Jon: When you finish your baseball career, what do you want to do for a profession?

Thomas: I'm staying in baseball. I'll either be a coach or a scout, maybe I'd want to get into the business side of baseball. I'd like to be an agent, too.

Jon: What are you doing this year to improve your game?

Thomas: I'm working on the mechanics of my pitches. Every day I need to repeat what I'm doing right. It's a big transition moving from college to professional baseball. We're up against better hitters here.

Jon: Who else on the River Bandits would you compare to yourself in terms of the style of your play?

Thomas: Jose Garcia. He's very competitive and always works hard.

Jon: Who is the MLB player you liked when you were growing up.

Thomas: Chipper Jones. No doubt.

Jon: What's your favorite holiday?

Thomas: Christmas!

Jon: Why?

Thomas: There's always lots of good food! My family gets together and we have fun. And I like getting presents!

Jon: Who is your favorite athlete outside of baseball.

Thomas: Michael Jordan.

Jon: What's your favorite color?

Thomas: Green—like the field.

Jon: What do you do in the off season to relax and get ready for next year?

Thomas: I spend as much time as I can with friends. I golf as often as possible. I also like to travel when I can.

Jon: On a typical day, what time to you get out of bed?

Thomas: Usually around 10.

Jon: Scout.com readers want to know you. What do you want them to know about you?

Thomas: Well, baseball is number one in everything I do. All of my decisions are based on "how will this affect my baseball game?" I think about it all the time. I've been blessed to live with no regrets.

Hot or Not?

This week, who's hot? David Carpenter and Pete Kozma are each over .300 and each have an OPS over .800. On the mound, Nick Additon has an ERA below .100 in 13 innings pitched. Although Francisco Samuel has only 5.0 innings, he stands at 0.00 ERA.

Struggling still: Beau Riportella got a nice hit on Saturday, ripping a line drive to center. However, he has slid off the bubble again. On the mound, Cardoza Tucker is struggling. Watch for him to really loosen up as soon as the weather warms up.

In the "sportlight" this week:

Jose Garcia has been out for a week and a half with a hamstring injury. He is almost ready to be back and to be strong.

David Carpenter is showing himself to be a very solid all-around player. He's going to do some great things this summer.

I have to mention the weather again. It continues to be a typical (if there IS a typical when you talk about weather) spring. Warm is getting closer and closer.

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