While the Stros say goodbye to NL ball at Minute Maid Park, they say hello to a new affiliate for their single A minor league team. Lexington made a pact with the Kansas City Royals creating a need for the Astros to search for another organization and they found it in the Quad Cities River Bandits. The last affiliation change I can remember took place a few years back, going from Round Rock to Oklahoma City for their AAA team. The Astros should be very familiar with the River Bandits since they were part of the Stros affiliations in the 90s and most recently the Cardinals, Jeff Luhnow should know them well.
As with any change, it will take time to get used to saying Quad Cities instead of Lexington. That said, the Midwestern League team has seen its share of current Astros, remember the Stros carry a few ex-Cardinals. Brett Wallace and Tyler Greene have found their way through Quad Cities on their journey to the big leagues. Milo Hamilton, who called it a career Wednesday night, began his profession with the River Bandits way back in 1950, which makes this an interesting twist. Given the fact that the Astros had a successful tenure with the Legends, the River Bandits will have big shoes to fill but all signs seem positive. The Astros beat out the Angels and Athletics, two other AL West soon to be rivals, for that of Quad Cities’ service.