Quad Cities River Bandits (15-13) dropped two series in a row (Clinton and Great
Lakes) and have dropped three games behind the LumberKings. Charlie Cutler and
Roberto Espinoza still lead the team in batting average. Jon Edwards had
back-to-back towering home runs this weekend against Cedar Rapids and raised his
average more than anyone else on the team this week. Niko Vasquez is the only
member of the team to have played in all 28 games.
the mound, Casey Mulligan continues to dominate with an ERA of only 0.82. Adam Veres leads the starters with just 1.25 ERA. Kevin Thomas has made a positive
move, too, lowering his ERA to 1.31. Jonny Bravo, the man with the best name in
baseball, has been touched up for a 37+ ERA in his short time with the team so
far. He has great movement on his pitches but he's still learning control. He
will also need to learn to pick up the pace as he is allowing a lot of stolen
face of the team continues to change. Brian Buck was released this week and
George Brown was sent to EST and assigned to the Batavia roster. Frederick Parejo—only 18 years old—joined the outfield at Modern Woodmen Park, and
Guillermo Toribio is the newest face in the infield.
their recent trip to Michigan, I had the chance to sit down with Chris Swauger
and talk about his game and his life outside the game. As with all the players
that I have met, I was impressed with Chris's enthusiasm for the game and for
life in general.
thanks for taking time to talk today. I want to give our readers a look at how
you see the game and how you look at life if you don't mind. Where are you from
and where did you play last year?
up in the Tampa Bay area and I just got a degree in Business Administration from
everyone on the current team, who do you think has the best chance to make it to
the Majors among the pitchers and the position
Gary Daley has the Major League stuff already. He throws 94 mph and he can throw real
the rest of the team, it’s harder to choose, but I would have to go with Niko
Vasquez. He does everything well—he doesn’t really have any weaknesses. He’s
young, athletic, and he has all the tools.
part of your game needs the most improvement this year? What are you doing to
working on my defense in the outfield—getting good reads on the ball as it
leaves the bat. It has been difficult this year because I’m shifting from
outfield to first base and back to the outfield—wherever they need me to play.
Good defense can control the game so it’s important to get it
ever read what the fans are saying about you in discussion forums like
not to read it. I need to handle my own business so I really can’t worry about
what anyone else is saying. My parents check out what is being said,
your favorite off-field activity during the season?
you play baseball every day, your body hurts. Baseball breaks you down so I like
to relax. I watch TV. I like to golf. I read a lot too.
kind of books do you read?
pick up anything about sports and read it.
baseball had never been invented, what profession would you
would probably choose another sport. I eventually want to be a coach. I love the
competitiveness of life and I will always want to feel that. I’m not going to
have a desk job.
are you in the birth order among your brothers and
the oldest. I have a younger brother and sister, and a younger
many different states have you visited?
when you grow up in Florida, there’s not a lot of reason to go anywhere else on
vacation! I’ve been to different places in the Southeast. When I was playing
last year I saw a lot of New England and when I was in school we went to Las
Vegas for a tournament. This is my first time in the Midwest. Most of the places
I’ve traveled have been through baseball.
two equal answers to that; my dad and my stepdad are both heroes. I hope I got
some of the best from each of them. My stepdad is the one who introduced me to
baseball and my dad helped me develop my skills and took me to practice all the
advice would you give to kids just starting in
fun! When you’re a kid it’s a game, it’s about fun. When it becomes your job,
don’t lose sight of the fun. You
have to take it seriously, but don’t let it become work.
the strength of the Cardinals system now (the increase of “real” prospects at
all levels) what are you doing to make yourself more valuable to the
myself competitive. I was drafted for the outfield but I had also played first
base in college. When we needed help at first base, I offered to play there,
too. It’s all about production and I have to get myself ready to produce every
day. The path from the minors to the majors is all based in
you aren’t a pitcher, but what do you think of the tandem starter
think it’s a good idea. It gives everyone a chance to get innings. They get to
throw a lot. This level is about developing, and it’s a good way to
is the biggest change in your personal life since you signed your professional
to be the distance. I was used to being close to my family and now I have to
communicate by phone better. When they aren’t here to see me play, they depend
more on what I say. Also, my diet has suffered. When we were in school it was
all about eating right and working every day. It’s harder to do that
should people know about you that they probably don't
plan to earn my MBA someday and then go on to coaching. I want to influence
people around me in a positive way. Baseball is a way that I can do that.
you, Chris. Keep up the good work!
infield got a facelift during the team's recent trip. New sod and the lack of
low spots have caused some adjustments in the way the team plays. There are
rumors that the outfield will be redone as soon as the season ends. The new
ribbon board in right field is not as bright as it was when it was first
installed and it is much less distracting.
Bandits have a day off on Monday and then spend the rest of the week in a
commuter series in Peoria.
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