Quad Cities Bandits Notebook: 2010 Week 14

This week's report from the Cardinals Midwest League club is an overview of progress being made.

It has been a week of ups and downs and ins and outs in Davenport. In all honesty, I lost track of all the moves. When the team came back from the last road trip Roberto Espinoza was supposed to be back in short season. However, when he arrived at the airport he was told to go back to Iowa to replace an injured Robert Stock. Mike Blazek is back--this time as a closer. Dean Kiekhefer - I'm still trying to learn to pronounce his name - has joined the team, too.

Whatever the end results of these changes will be, the Bandits are responding well. They have earned very decisive wins in their last two home games. Deryk Hooker and Eric Fornataro both deserve promotions but there's no room for them in Palm Beach. Still burning hot and cold, Jesse Simpson impresses me when he's hot and concerns me when he's not. Joe Kelly is another one who is amazing fans - we hope he is also getting the attention of the front office. I'm still waiting and hoping to see that Shelby Miller is worth the bonus he got for signing last summer. I think it's a good thing that they are being careful and letting him develop at his own pace. Aaron Terry has a place on someone's roster someday as a power closer. I hope it is with the Cardinals.

Roberto Espinoza has a cannon for an arm. He is strong and his throws are spot on. He is also batting a mere .400. My only concern for him is the fact that he's a catcher and I don't think anyone will be displacing Yadier Molina any time soon. Robert Stock, recently placed on the DL, still impresses me with his field direction skills. Ivan Castro should never have been assigned at this level. He belongs higher.

Among the hitters, I keep seeing "things" about Ryde Rodriguez that I can't really identify, but I am liking him more and more every time I see him play. It's rare that you get to see someone play with as much heart as he puts into every game. I've always been a fan of the intangible. Since my last report, Niko Vasquez and D'Marcus Ingram have earned promotions that were very deserved. My congratulations to them. Frederick Parejo is coming on strong lately, too. It will be fun to watch him continue to develop in the coming weeks. Luis Mateo is still the quiet giant. <> I'm anxious to see more of the newcomers to the team. This will be a different kind of a second half of the season since the Bandits have already secured a place in the playoffs with their performance in the first 70 games of the season. That takes off a lot of pressure, but they still have to play like a championship team.

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