Dominant Closer Mulligan Earns Promotion
For two months, River Bandits closer Casey Mulligan dominated the Midwest League. While the hard-throwing 21-year-old's pro pitching career flourished in the Quad Cities, now he will now return to the place where it began.
On Monday, the Quad Cities River Bandits announced that Mulligan has become the fourth player promoted by the St. Louis Cardinals from the Quad Cities to high Class-A Palm Beach in 2009. The 6-foot-2, 190-pounder - drafted as a third baseman - was serving as a catcher for Palm Beach in 2008 when an impressive inning on the mound late in a blowout led to the decision to turn the right-hander into a full-time pitcher.
If his 17 appearances in a River Bandits uniform are any indication, that move may someday pay dividends in St. Louis.
Mulligan converted all nine of his save opportunities in the Midwest League, adding a 2-0 record and striking out 36 in 20 innings of work. He allowed just two runs - one earned - on eight hits and five walks, posting a sparkling 0.45 ERA while holding opposing hitters to a .114 batting average. The California native held the opposition hitless in 13 of his 17 outings, and the only earned run he allowed came with a 15-1 lead on April 21 in Beloit.
Taking Mulligan's spot on the active Quad Cities roster is right-handed reliever Joel Pichardo. A 21-year-old from Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, Pichardo went 0-3 with a 4.91 ERA in 20 relief appearances last season with the Johnson City Cardinals of the rookie level Appalachian League.
UP NEXT: The River Bandits conclude the current homestand with Senior Citizens Day for a special Memorial Day matinee, featuring a Noon start time on Monday. Quad Cities then hits the road for 10 games before returning to Modern Woodmen Park on June 6 to kick off an eight-game homestand, their last of the first half.
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!
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