May 1, 2009 - Midwest League (MWL) - Quad Cities River Bandits
At this time last year, Casey Mulligan was a catcher trying to find his way in the St. Louis Cardinals minor league system. What a difference a year makes.
The 21-year-old from Castaic, California, was converted to a pitcher midway through the 2008 season and the early returns have been overwhelming. On Friday, Mulligan was tabbed by the St. Louis Cardinals as their Minor League Pitcher of the Month for April.
Beginning his first full season as a closer for the River Bandits, the hard-throwing right-hander has converted all six of his save opportunities - tied for tops in the Midwest League. He also went 1-0 in April with a 1.00 ERA and 17 strikeouts in nine innings, allowing just one run on three hits and two walks.
Even more impressive is the fact that eight of his nine appearances have been hitless outings. All three hits and the lone run that Mulligan has given up came in the same game - a ninth-inning stint in Beloit on April 21 in which he entered with a 15-1 lead.
Also receiving recognition was former Quad Cities slugger Steven Hill, who was named the Cardinals Minor League Player of the Month for April after batting .391 and clubbing five home runs in the season\'s opening month. The Stephen F. Austin product has also doubled seven times, scored 15 runs, and driving in 17 while continuing his transition to catching duties. Hill spent part of his professional debut in the Quad Cities in 2007, hitting .303 with 11 longballs and 44 RBI in 62 ballgames.
UP NEXT: The homestand concludes on Friday with a Baseball Air Freshener Giveaway courtesy of Midas and a post-game fireworks extravaganza on a Fireworks Friday! The River Bandits will then hit the road for six games against the Clinton LumberKings and Great Lakes Loons before returning to Modern Woodmen Park for another Fireworks Friday on May 8.
ABOUT THE BANDITS: Under new ownership and management in 2008, the Quad Cities River Bandits topped 207,000 fans for only the sixth time in team history and the first time in 12 years. Having recently completed one of the most successful seasons in the history of the franchise - and with a renewed dedication to fans, sponsors and the Quad Cities community - the return of the River Bandits has brought a resurgence of support for the team. BanditWear, season tickets and mini-plans, and individual game tickets are on sale for the 2009 season by calling (563) 3-BANDIT or heading to www.RiverBandits.com. But hurry - good seats are going fast!