Ex-Bandits pitcher on cover of Sports Illustrated

Current Astro played in 2013 championship season

Former Quad Cities River Bandits pitcher Lance McCullers is on the cover of Sports Illustrated this week, but you can be forgiven if you didn't recognize him. After all, it's just his hand holding a baseball.

The cover story is about the resurgence of the curveball in Major League Baseball, and it describes the current Houston Astros starter's version of it as "terrifyingly beautiful" and "found at the intersection of violence and wonder."

McCullers was 6-5 with a 3.18 ERA for the 2013 Midwest League champion River Bandits, starting 18 games and saving four. He's 6-1 with a 2.48 ERA for the first place Astros this year, his third in the majors. The six wins in 2017 already match his career high, set in 2015 and repeated in 2016.


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