Welcome Home Game Notes
It is good to be back home in Peoria where for now the sun is shining and the feed looks great. We are headed for the low 70s temperature wise and hopefully the rain forecast for later today misses us! Tonight starts a 7-game homestand which is action-packed and provides our first look at Cedar Rapids (Minnesota Twins) and the 2013 MWL Champion Quad Cities River Bandits (Houston Astros). Tonight also give the home fans their first look at 19-year old phenom Alex Reyes who had his scheduled start last Sunday vs. Bowling Green rained out. If the weather cooperates, Reyes will start tonight and Sunday during this homestand.
Cedar Rapids was the best regular season team in the MWL Western division last year as they were loaded with prospects like Byron Buxton, Max Kepler, Jorge Polanco, JO Berrios and Adam Brett Walker. This season they bring to Peoria just two of Baseball America’s top 30 Twins prospects: LHP Randy Rosario (Starts Thursday) and RHP Felix Jorge. Cedar Rapids is on a nine-game winning streak against the Chiefs after two 4-game sweeps last August.
Quad Cities won the 2013 MWL Championship after winning the second half. Last season they had a special year all the way around with two #1 overall picks in Carlos Correa and Mark Appel plus top prospects Teoscar Hernandez, Danry Vasquez, Rio Ruiz, Lance McCullers Jr,, Vince Velasquez and even a two week stint from Jonathan Singleton. The offense isn’t as loaded for the 7-9 (as of Monday) River Bandits but they have six of the top 30 prospects on their pitching staff. RHP Michael Feliz (9), Andrew Thurman (15), Gonzalo Sanudo (26), Jandel Gustave (27) join LHP Kent Emanuel (23) and Chris Lee (24). They also just added Quad Cities native and former Illini start Thomas Lindauer to the roster. Pretty cool to play pro ball in your hometown for your home team. Quad Cities will play four games at Clinton before traveling to Peoria for the weekend 3-game series.
We will see plenty of Cedar Rapids over the next three weeks with series in Iowa May 2-4 and May 12-14 but won’t see Quad Cities again until June 7-9.
Here are Monday’s Game Notes. We’ll have a lineup about 2:30 and I hope to have some fun video and photos this afternoon after a surprise event at the ballpark. Thanks for reading and hope to see you at Dozer Park this week!