Quad Cities - A Day of First Impressions

The Quad Cities River Bandits held their first practice Tuesday since their arrival in town. While the team to batting practice I talked with some of the players and some of the coaches to see if I could get an impression of what we can expect from the team this year. I got the feeling that the guys have already come together as a team. I take that as a good sign for the season.

I asked several players and coaches to give me a rapid fire first impression as I read through the roster. Here is what I got:


George Brown (tandem with Daley) is a "crafty" pitcher. He has several good pitches. Watch for his sinker and change up for strikes.

Hector Cardenas (tandem with Thomas) is a real competitor. He threw well in Batavia last year and has a great fastball and a late-breaking curve.

Dave Carpenter throws hard! He's building his experience, has a great arm and throws a good change up.

Gary Daley (tandem with Brown) is a top prospect with Major League stuff. He is learning to command his fastball. He may be the best natural talent on the staff.

Ramon Delgado throws a great sinker. Has a good two seam, change up, and slider for strikes. He'll be a good arm in the bullpen.

Chuckie Fick (tandem with Tapia) is a competitor. He throws strikes with a good sinker, curve, and slider. He pitches for ground balls. He won't be in the Quad Cities for long.

Deryk Hooker (tandem with McGregor) also has three good pitches, throws for strikes, and will have a good showing in his second year here.

Scott McGregor (tandem with Hooker) has great stuff. He has good command of his sinker, change up, and curve. He throws strikes from several pitches.

Casey Mulligan is converting from catcher. He's an aggressive pitcher who goes after batters. Able to change his arm angle in his pitches, he can throw a good two seam and a good breaker.

Arquimedes Nieto (tandem with Veres) is one of the youngest players on the team. When I mentioned his name to coaches the response was almost "excitement" as they spoke of him. Raw talent that will be easy to coach. Change up, breaker, curve, and a good four seam are in his arsenal.

Miguel Tapia (tandem with Fick) has a Major League fastball. He's working on control with his curve and change up. He's a thrower who is becoming a pitcher. He's got the stuff, just needs to develop it.

Kevin Thomas (tandem with Cardenas) throws a 92-93 mph sinker that drops late. Also has a good curve, slider, and change up.

Adam Veres (tandem with Nieto) is aggressive with a good fastball and a good change up. He's got natural leadership qualities and knows how to throw strikes.


Charlie Cutler is a good catcher, very disciplined. He stays in himself and doesn't let the game take him over. He's good at the bat.

Roberto Espinoza is one of the most improved players over last year. He's a good solid defensive catcher.

Blake Murphy is currently on the disabled list. He has solid power. His short, compact swing makes him a threat at the plate.

Osvaldo Morales is also much improved over last season. He has a big bat. He has learned discipline and will be our RBI guy.

Domnit Bolivar is a great infielder. He has deceiving power. He is a good player with a solid line drive. Another young player, he will mature this season.

Alex Castellanos has tools. He is aggressive and will perform well in numerous spots.

Aaron Luna is strong. He is transitioning to second base and will show good improvement at that position this season.

Niko Vasquez is solid and talented. He has good hands and strong arms. He hits a good solid line drive.

Brian Buck has been out of the game for three years. He has lots of raw talent and is a toolsy player. He can run, throw, and is a good defensive center fielder. He needs more games to develop his skill.

Paul Cruz hits for average. He's a feisty player with a good line drive. He'll hit lots of doubles and triples and score runs.

Jon Edwards is powerful and strong. He's a gifted talent with good defensive skills. He's got great speed for a guy his size.

Ryde Rodriguez is young and strong. He has a plus arm and an aggressive bat.

Chris Swauger is a solid left hander. He hits solid line drives and has good gap power.

Pronunciation guide:

Cardenas - CAR den is
Arquimedes - ar KEY med is Nieto nee YET o
Veres – VEERS
Ryde - REE day

The season starts on the road on Thursday, April 9, with a three game stand in Appleton. Sunday is a day off for Easter and the home season begins on Monday. Man, I love this time of the year!


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