The first extended home stand of the season for the Quad-Cities River Bandits has led to the first visits of the year by members of Houston’s minor-league staff.
Astros infield coordinator Adam Everett and hitting instructor Ralph Dickenson spent time on the field during early work with the River Bandits during the seven-game home stand which concluded Wednesday.
Both have spent time coaching at the major-league level for Houston during their tenure as staff members with the organization, experience that Quad-Cities manager Russ Steinhorn welcomes.
“We always welcome the expertise those guys provide when they come in,’’ Steinhorn said. “They provide a lot of support and guidance. It’s a good experience for our players and for our staff here. We try to put their expertise to work for us.’’
Everett spent 11 seasons in the major leagues with the Astros, Twins, Tigers and Indians and began his coaching career with Houston in 2013. His resume includes working in September, 2014 as the Astros’ interim major-league bench coach.
Dickenson has coached at the minor-league level since 1990, working as both a coach and manager. He worked as Houston’s major-league hitting coach in 2014 and spent last season as the hitting coach at Triple-A Fresno before returning to a role he filled in 2015.
“Every day in this game is different and I think we all learn from one day to the next,’’ Steinhorn said. “We draw on the experiences we all have had as we work together. They give us a tremendous amount of support when they come in.’’
THE CYCLE: Lansing’s Edward Olivares became the first Midwest League batter to hit for the cycle since 2014 when he went 4-for-5 during an 11-5 win over South Bend on Monday.
The 21-year-old outfielder from Venezuela doubled in his first at-bat in the second inning and singled an inning later before homering in the fifth inning.
He completed the feat with two outs in the eighth inning when he drove a triple into the gap in right-center.
QC HOMECOMING: The three-game series between Quad-Cities and Peoria which concluded Wednesday was a bit of a homecoming for Chiefs manager Chris Swauger.
His first full-season assignment as a player in the Cardinals organization came in 2009 with the River Bandits. He wasn’t around long, 31 games to be exact before earning a promotion to high-A Palm Beach.
Swauger did hit .298 with four homers, 10 doubles and 22 RBI for Quad-Cities one year after being selected by St. Louis in the 26th round of the draft out of The Citadel.
He is in his third season as a manager in the St. Louis farm system, spending the past two years at Johnson City. He led that team to the Appalachian League title a year ago.
WINKELMAN SHINES: Alex Winkelman, a pitcher who went 5-1 with a 3.72 ERA for Quad-Cities last season, was named Monday as the pitcher of the week in the Carolina League.
He struck out 10 and did not issue any walks during a six-inning start for Buies Creek, the Astros’ high-A affiliate. Winkelman allowed just one hit while shutting out Myrtle Beach in his lone start of the week for manager Omar Lopez’s team.
HOT START: Cedar Rapids’ Jermaine Palacios had a crazy .516 batting average last week, leading the Kernels shortstop to Midwest League player of the week honors.
Palacios leads the league with a .397 batting average, helped by a 16-of-31 week last week that included three doubles, one triple and one home run.
Cubs prospect Dylan Cease of South Bend was recognized as the pitcher of the week. A sixth-round pick of Chicago in 2014, he struck out seven batters and walked three while not allowing a hit during a six-inning start against Great Lakes.
BY THE NUMBERS
.484: League-leading on-base percentage of Lansing shortstop Bo Bichette, the son of former Quad-City Angels outfielder Dante Bichette and a second-round pick of the Blue Jays in 2016
35: Bases stolen by Dayton through 18 games, 13 more than any other team in the league
Two weeks after making his major-league debut for the Rangers, Texas returned Rule V draft pick and former River Bandits pitcher Mike Hauschild to the Astros.
Hauschild cleared waivers and was assigned to Houston’s AAA Fresno affiliate after struggling in a relief role with Texas, allowing 10 runs on 14 hits including five homers in eight innings out of the bullpen.
The 27-year old went 6-1 with a 2.92 ERA in 20 appearances with Quad-Cities’ 2013 Midwest League championship team.
TODAY: at Clinton, 6:30 p.m.
FRIDAY: at Clinton, 6:30 p.m.
SATURDAY: at Clinton, 6:30 p.m.
SUNDAY: at Clinton, 2 p.m.
TUESDAY: vs. Fort Wayne, 6:30 p.m., $2 Busch Light Tuesday, Dew for Tuesday, Military Tuesday $1 tickets
WEDNESDAY: vs. Fort Wayne, 6:30 p.m., Opening May, postgame fireworks, Mega flat screen TV giveaway
TODAY: vs. Quad-Cities, 6:30 p.m., Thirsty Thursday beverage discounts
FRIDAY: vs. Quad-Cities, 6:30 p.m., Clinton Community College Night
SATURDAY: vs. Quad-Cities, 6:30 p.m.
SUNDAY: vs. Quad-Cities, 2 p.m., DARE Day
TUESDAY: at West Michigan, 5:30 p.m.
WEDNESDAY: at West Michigan, 5:30 p.m.