Mickey Storey wants it to happen now.
Given recent roster turnover, the first-year manager of the Quad-Cities River Bandits has found recent history and a dose of patience to be important traits.
“I find myself thinking back to the start of the first half and how slowly we started as a team,’’ Storey said. “Now, like then, we have a lot of guys adjusting to this level. We’ll get through it. I keep telling myself that.’’
When Quad-Cities played at Kane County last Thursday, there was only one player in the lineup who had ever faced the Cougars before.
That speaks to the volume of roster turnover the River Bandits are dealing with during the initial weeks of the second half.
That has led to some expected inconsistency.
Quad-Cities totaled 35 hits in its first six games of the second half, going 1-5 while averaging 1.8 runs per game. Over its next four games, the River Bandits pounded out 37 hits and won three times while scoring an average of 5.5 runs.
Collectively, the team opened the half at 4-6 and that compares to a 3-7 beginning during a first half that ended with a 40-30 record.
“There are a lot of similarities, so I continue to trust the process, believe in what we’re doing every day and like in the first half, I believe that what we’re doing is going to work as we move deeper into the half,’’ Storey said. “Recent history, a couple of months ago, tells me that is the case.’’
Familiar foe: Storey and the River Bandits are currently in Beloit, providing a reunion of sorts for the Quad-Cities manager.
Snappers manager Webster Garrison was the hitting coach for a Midland team Storey played for in the Texas League while Beloit pitching coach Don Schulze, a former Quad-City Cubs pitcher, was Storey’s pitching coach at Stockton in the California League.
“It’s great seeing both of those guys. They were great coaches to learn from as I was coming up in the game,’’ Storey said. “We kid a bit back and forth and it’s probably a little more different for them, having to coach against one of their former players.’’
Fine dining: When a major-league player makes a rehab appearance with a minor-league team, tradition dictates that the player with the big-league salary pick up the tab for dinner that day for his new teammates.
Chicago Cubs pitcher Yu Darvish took that to the next level last week in South Bend, picking up the tab for a steak and lobster postgame dinner served to both South Bend players and the West Michigan team he competed against that night.
Darvish worked five innings – throwing 41 of his 57 pitches for strikes and displaying a fastball that topped out at 94 – in the Cubs’ 4-2 loss to the Whitecaps. He did give up one home run ball, but only two West Michigan hitters found themselves with a three-ball count against Darvish.
MWL comes to QC: The River Bandits will host the Midwest League’s annual fall meetings, bringing league executives and staff members to the Quad-Cities.
“We’re looking forward to welcoming everyone and showing them how downtown Davenport has come alive at night over the past few years,’’ River Bandits general manager Andrew Chesser said.
“The all-star game was here in 2011, so it’s been a while since a number of people from around the league have been to the Quad-Cities. Our fall meetings have been hosted by Eastern Division teams the last couple years, so we’re excited to have a chance to showcase the Quad-Cities.’’
Streak ends: The Texas League-record hitting streak set by former River Bandits third baseman Randy Cesar ended Friday.
Cesar, who played for Quad-Cities in 2016 and 2017, went 0-for-4 in Double-A Corpus Christi’s 2-1 loss at Arkansas to snap a 42-game streak.
It was his first hitless game since May 4 ended a streak topped by only 13 players in the 151-year history of minor-league baseball. Cesar hit .390 during the 42-game run.
Jones earns honor: Taylor Jones hit .213 in 50 games for Quad-Cities last season, but off to a .323 start at Double-A Corpus Christi this season, he was promoted to Triple-A Fresno last week after earning most valuable player honors in the Texas League All-Star Game.
Jones went 2-for-4 with a double before hitting a home run in his seventh try in a contest against Springfield’s Victor Roache which decided the game after the teams played to a 2-2 tie through nine innings.
“I don’t think the fans wanted to see a tie. We didn’t want to see a tie, so doing something like this makes it more exciting in the end,’’ Jones told MiLB.com about the unique situation allowed under league bylaws in the all-star game after both teams used all available pitchers.
Alumni report: Perseverance paid off last week for Robert Stock.
A second-round draft pick of the Cardinals in 2009 who spent four seasons in the Quad-Cities, the 28-year-old product of the program at USC made his major-league debut on June 24.
Stock worked one inning of relief for San Diego in a game at San Francisco, striking out two batters and giving up a single in his first big-league outing.
He has made two additional appearances for the Padres since, and currently has a 3.38 ERA while striking out five batters in 2.2 innings of work for San Diego.
Stock was initially drafted as a catcher by St. Louis and played the position for Quad-Cities in 2009, 2010 and 2011 before transitioning to pitcher. He threw his first professional pitches for the River Bandits in 2012, going 5-2 with a 4.56 ERA in 38 appearances.