Quad Cities River Bandits Report: 06/05/08

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 starting pitcher Mark Diapoules.

Editor's note: This report should have run on Thursday, but was misplaced in an email mix-up.



The Quad Cities River Bandits are still holding just above the .500 mark in third place in the Western Division of the Midwest League. They played in front of the biggest home crowd of the year so far last Saturday as over 5300 fans came out to watch them win.


Nick Additon and Mark Diapoules continue to be the tandem pair to beat. Pete Kozma, Charlie Kingrey (starters) and Mark Diapoules (bullpen) were named to the Midwest League All-Star Game. In a twist that is typical of the Midwest League, they will be playing for the Eastern All-Stars since there is an uneven number of teams in each division—one Western team sends it's All-Stars to play for the east each year on a rotating basis.


Before the current road trip began, I was able to sit down with Mark Diapoules between innings and find out a little more about him as a person and a player. I had been told by some of his teammates that he is pretty shy; I didn't notice that at all as we chatted. Here's some of what we talked about:


Jon: Mark, you're fairly new to the Quad Cities and to the Cardinals' organization so I want to give readers a look at who you are. We'll talk baseball and we'll talk about you a little bit as a person. First off, where did you go to school?


Mark: Palm Beach Community College.


Jon: What part of your game are you concentrating on this year to improve?


Mark: I want to keep control of my fastball location.


Jon: You seem to be doing that so far. You and Nick make a pretty dominant tandem. What has been your best moment in baseball so far?


Mark: My first game here. I waited a long time for that day and it felt good.


Jon: What's your favorite color?


Mark: Blue.


Jon: What other player on the team do you think is most like you as far as playing style?


Mark: I'd say Justin Fiske. We both have a strong sinker. (Note: Justin was promoted the day after this interview.)


Jon: What's the best thing about playing minor league baseball?


Mark: Umm, I'm playing baseball!


Jon: When you were growing up, who was your baseball hero?


Mark: Well, this year has changed things some, but it was Roger Clemens.


Jon: What's your favorite food?


Mark: Steak.


Jon: Who was your favorite baseball team when you were growing up?

Mark: The Yankees.


Jon: I'm really sorry to hear that, this interview is over! OK, just kidding! Do you have any superstitions about baseball?


Mark: No, not really.


Jon: When you make the Majors, what number do you want to wear?


Mark: If I'm in the Majors, I don't care what number is on my back! I'll be in the show!


Jon: What do you like to do during the off-season?


Mark: Anything on my boat. I like to fish.


Jon: Do you have any tattoos?


Mark: None.


Jon: What are you afraid of? Any phobias?


Mark: I'd hate to drown, but it's not really a phobia.


Jon: If you were a car, what kind of car would you be?


Mark: Wow, I never thought about that. I'd be a Ford F-350 Diesel. I'm a hard worker.


Jon: What's your favorite baseball movie?


Mark: Bull Durham.


Jon: Do you have a favorite brand for your baseball equipment?


Mark: Rawlings.


Jon: If you had an intro song for the games, what would it be?


Mark: I'm not sure. It would be something in alternative music, though.


Jon: Thanks, Mark! Keep throwing strikes!



Deal this week


Matt Arburr, not famous for his speed, hit an inside the park home run this week. Charlie Kingrey has stayed hot, too. Nick Peoples continues to make a name for himself as the newcomer to the team with consistent hits and aggressive defense.


Chuckie Fick is my choice for the rising star on the mound this week. He has put in some good performances in starting and relieving. Luis De La Cruz has had a very impressive month behind the plate, too.


No deal this week


Thomas Eager has stumbled, but I'm not worried about him making a good rebound. Jose Garcia needs to hit the ball better. Domnit Bolivar is very consistent at the plate but he is leading the team in errors.


On the watch list


Dylan Gonzalez hasn't had a chance to pitch much at home, but I find it interesting that he goes to the bullpen and "throws" imaginary warm-ups. He's fun to watch. Mike Folli is on the brink of a breakout that is going to be fun to watch, also.



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