Quad Cities River Bandits Report: 06/26/08

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 Pete Parise.

It has been a rough start to the second half of the season for the Quad Cities River Bandits.  They gave up three of four games to the Cedar Rapids Kernels on the road and have struggled against the Kane County Cougars at home this week. In a matinee on Tuesday afternoon, the bullpen showed how tired they are. One more arm in the pen would be a great boost, I believe.


A few bright spots in the early days of the second half: Richard Castillo, our new 18-year-old, had a stellar through five innings in his only start so far. He struck out six and didn't give up a run. Chuckie Fick is holding his ERA below 2.00. Although his batting average doesn't show it yet, Oliver Marmol is the same kind of spark-plug player that Jose Garcia was in the first half. I expect him to be a real asset in the home stretch.


This week's feature player is Pete Parise. Pete is a right-handed, 23-year-old who grew up in the Bronx. At this point in the season, he carries a 2.83 ERA. Here is what we talked about:


Pete, where did you go to school?


University of Pittsburgh.


At what point in your career did you decide to make baseball your profession?


When I started college. I really wanted it and worked at it from there.


What's your favorite color?




So far in your baseball life, what has been the best moment?


The day I was signed by the Cardinals! I was playing for Slippery Rock and my manager called me into his office to tell me.


What are you working on this year to improve in your game?


I have to keep my momentum forward. I can't stay back on my pitches. This is the first year I've thrown a change up. I'm getting used to that.


What other River Bandit on this year's team do you think is most like you?


Hmmm. There are no other guys from New York any more! I'd say Paul Vasquez. We like the same things when we're away from the field.


When you were growing up, who was your sports hero?


Don Mattingly. And since I grew up in New York, my family was all about Mickey Mantle.


What other sports did you play before you decided to concentrate on baseball?


In high school, I played football and basketball.


What is your favorite food?




And your favorite beverage?


It's got to be Sprite.


Do you have any tattoos?


I have two; a cross on my back in memory of my grandma and a bat and ball on my shoulder for the Bronx.


When you get to the Major Leagues, what number do you want to wear?




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


An Acura TL.


If you couldn't pitch anymore, what position would you play?


I like the outfield. Really, I like anything down the middle, so I'd like to be a catcher, too.


On or off the field, who inspires you?


All of my grandparents. They all immigrated to the USA. They taught me to work hard and to strive for success. They are all excited that I'm playing baseball.


Who is your favorite baseball team?


(hesitates) Growing up, I was always a Yankees fan. Since I signed with the Cards, I have read as much as I can and I love this team now. They have a lot of history and have the second-most World Series wins.


What's your favorite baseball movie?


Bull Durham.


During the off season, what do you do to relax?


I have a home in Florida now so I spend as much time as I can at the beach.


What else do you want readers to know about you, as a player or as a person?


First of all, I'm an athlete. I have played just about every position just to show that I can. Second to that, I'm a baseball player. My family is very important to me, too.


Thanks, Pete! Keep up the good work!



Deal this week


Paul Vasquez leads the team in batting at .305 and has had some key hits this week. Pete Kozma is getting more and more consistent with each game and he has played in more games than any other member of the team. Tommy Pham leads the team in home runs.


No Deal this week


Domnit Bolivar has been here the entire season and needs to get into the game; he is striking out in ¼ of his plate appearances. D'Marcus Ingram stands below .200 at the plate. Believe it or not, Nick Additon struggled on the mound in Tuesday's day game and he had a hard time in his start in Cedar Rapids.


News of note


The floods have receded for the time being. Thanks again to the City of Davenport and their fine crew who worked tirelessly to keep the stadium open. We are getting rain again as I write this article. Please join me in hoping/praying that it doesn't come too fast. When the home stand ends on Thursday, I'll still get to see baseball; the Bandits have their next four games in Clinton, where I work. I think of this as a home/home series.



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