With five games left in the first
half of the season, the Quad Cities River Bandits (38-25) are currently in
second place in the Western Division. They are 3.5 games behind
The roster has been much more stable this year than I have seen it since the Cardinals became our parent club. Ted Obregon became the first River Bandit to be promoted—that just happened this week and he had only been here for 11 days. We have had several players sent to Extended Spring Training for rehab, but for the most part, the roster has not changed in the first two and a half months of the season.
Among the batters with more than 60 at bats, eight are batting over .250 and six are below. Those fourteen players have each appeared in at least twenty games. Niko Vasquez has been in 60. D'Marcus Ingram, Ryan Jackson, and Jason Stidham have scored the most runs so far. Matt Adams, Stidham, and Vasquez have the most doubles. Edgar Lara, Vasquez, and Adams have the most homers. Vasquez, Jackson, and Robert Stock have drawn the most walks. The stats all tell just about the same story—the leaders lead and the rest of the team provides great support.
On the mound it's much the same. Eric Fornataro is the team leader. He has the most innings pitched, the most starts; he has given up the most hits and the most runs. Scott Schneider is right there with Eric. The two are tied for the most wins. Schneider is second in innings pitched, he leads the team in retiring the opponent on strikes and he has the lowest WHIP on the pitching staff. Deryk Hooker, Jesse Simpson, and Joe Kelly are the three I keep on my watch list. They haven't had real standout seasons yet, but I believe that they are poised to make a big upward move in the second half.
The All Star festivities start Tuesday next week. I'll have a complete first half recap for my next report.
This week I got to sit down with Scott Schneider for a few minutes. As with most of the guys I interview, I was truly impressed with him as a young man. His pitching stats speak for his baseball skills, he had a lot to say about himself as a person.
Scott, thanks for talking with me tonight!
You're welcome, Jon, it's my pleasure.
Let's start with your impressions so far of the Quad Cities. How do you like it here?
I really like playing here! They take good care of us all around. It's one of the top places to play. We're right by the river so there's always fishing. The team likes to hang out together. Living here is good.
What do you do to relax away from the game?
I love fishing and it's easy to get to the river! Most of the time I just like to hang out and play video games.
What do you do during the off season to stay in shape?
I work out and train at a
professional performance center in
Do you have any superstitions?
I follow the same routine every day. I never step on the chalk line. And I always sit in the same spot in the dugout.
What is the biggest change you've had to make in your life since you left home?
(chuckles) Eating isn't as good! I live out of a suitcase all year now. I miss my family and friends, of course. But I don't have to go to school!
Considering your entire baseball career, what has been the highlight for you so far?
Well, of course it was draft day! Before that, it was the day we (St Mary's College) beat UCLA at UCLA my sophomore year. That was exciting.
How did you get your start in baseball?
My parents really encouraged me. They said I was always throwing stuff so they helped get a baseball in my hand.
What is the wildest fan story you can tell?
I don't have many stories. I live with Shelby Miller so he's always attracting attention from the autograph collectors. Some of them have actually chased us trying to get him to sign.
What's your favorite meal?
That's easy! Mom's Thanksgiving!
How do you deal with the daily pressure of professional baseball? Have the Cardinals offered any help?
Well, it's my first year so anything can happen. I just remind myself that it's a game. But it's my job, too. I could be released at any time so I make the most of the time I have here.
Do you have any siblings?
I have two older sisters.
Of the other ball parks you've
seen in the Midwest League, which is the best besides
What are you doing to add value to yourself as a future Cardinal?
Every day I have to perfect what I have. Don't try to add too much to my game too fast. And I stay healthy. I keep my eye on my Major League goal and enjoy the time I have in the minors.
If you weren't able to have a career in sports, what would you do instead for a living?
I'd go to medical school. My dad is a doctor and my mom is a nurse, so that's where I would head. But I don't want to think about not playing baseball!
In your life, who holds you accountable to be a good person in addition to being a good ball player?
Well, I hold myself accountable! I was raised that way. I'm responsible to be the best I can be—on and off the field.
Thanks, Scott, somehow I was expecting that answer from you!
With respect to my cardiologist who I see this week to make sure my heart is healthy, I'm forgoing the Tasty Tidbit section this week. Just a friendly reminder, if you're close to fifty and you haven't had your heart checked, do it. The worst that can happen is you'll find a problem before it's too late. Or you could "waste" the co-pay on your insurance just to find out that you are in good shape.
Thanks for reading!
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