Your 2009 Boise Hawks!

The Boise Hawks begin play tonight, kicking off their 2009 season. They will play 77 games (76 "league" games plus tonight's Opening Night exhibition game versus Treasure Valley CC) up through the first week of September, with one game scheduled each and most every day (they get only three days off for the entire season!). 

 


The Boise Hawks are the Cubs "Short-Season A" affiliate in the Northwest League. Besides the Cubs affiliate in Boise, ID, the other seven clubs in the league are the Tri-City Dust Devils (Rockies) in Pasco, WA, the Yakima Bears (Diamondbacks) in Yakima, WA, the Spokane Indians (Rangers) in Spokane, WA, the Eugene Emeralds (Padres) in Eugene, OR, the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes (Giants) in Keizer, OR, the Everett Aqua Sox (Mariners) in Everett, WA, and the Vancouver Canadians (A's) in Vancouver, BC. All eight of the clubs have their minor league base in Arizona, so the players know the rival players pretty well from having played a lot of opponents in AZL, Spring Training, Extended Spring Training, and/or Instructional League games    


Per MLB Rule 51, a "Short Season A" club may have a maximum of four players on its roster age 23 or older (as of June 5th), and a maximum of three players on its roster with three years or more of minor league service time coming into the season. (Seasons spent playing in DSL, VSL, Mexican League, or MLB international academies don't count toward minor league service time limit, the age limit does not apply to first-year players who sign after June 5th, and there is a one-year age & service time exemption for position players who are being converted to pitcher). .  


Generally speaking, players assigned to Boise would include college players selected in the recent Rule 4 Draft (First-Year Player Draft), and Latin, Pacific Rim, and U. S. high school and JC players who have "graduated" from Fitch Park (EXST Cubs & AZL Cubs). 


Players assigned to Boise stay with "host families," which are local Boise residents who house and feed the young Cubbies (Hawks) during their stay in Boise. In return, the families receive complimentary season-tickets to the Hawks home games.


It's not unusual for players and host families to stay in touch for many years after the player has left and moved on to other things. Occasionally a player who stayed with a host family one year and another player who stayed with the same host family in a different season meet each other in later years and discover their "family connection."


The Boise gig is a lot different than Minor League Camp, Extended Spring Training, AZ Instructional League, or playing for the AZL Cubs in Mesa at Fitch Park. The players assigned to Fitch Park stay in the same motel (two players per room) with a curfew and no alcohol allowed in the rooms. Shuttle vans (maxi-vans) transport the players from the motel to Fitch Park and back. "Road trips" consist of maybe a 20-minute ride to another minor league complex in the maxi-vans.


But in Boise, the players are mostly on their own. They have to find their own way to the ballpark, and the Cubs rely on the host families to help keep the player on the "straight & narrow." (The Cubs probably wouldn't want a couple of meth freaks to be a "host family"). And Boise "road trips" consist of all night bus rides through the back roads and high deserts of Idaho, Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia, with pre-made peanut butter & jelly sandwiches and/or Dominos Pizza (usually the only "restaurant" open late in most of the Northwest League towns) the in-bus meal.


The 2009 Hawks roster features the "cream of the crop" from Extended Spring Training, and those of you who might have followed my EXST Cubs game reports will probably recognize most of the names.


Three of the prized Korean teenaged bonus babies (SS Hak-Ju Lee, OF Jae-Hoon Ha, and RHP Su-Min Jung) were assigned to Boise, as were 19-year old Venezuelan RHP (and Carlos Zambrano clone) Larry Suarez and 18-year old Dominican LHP Jeffry Antigua (the two most-impressive pitchers at Extended Spring Training), and 2008 4th round pick C-2B Matt Cerda (a good-looking young hitter who has yet to find a permanent position).  


In addition, three players selected in the recent Rule 4 Draft (First-Year Player Draft) are also on the Hawks Opening Day Active Roster. RHP Danny Keefe (14th round pick out of the U. of Tampa), CF Cody Shields (15th round pick out of the U. of Auburn - Montgomery), and 1B Greg Rohan (21st round pick out of Kent State) signed immediately after the draft and got to Fitch Park before the Boise club was organized, and just in time to be included on the Hawks Opening Day roster. (Keefe, Shields, and Rohan were college seniors, so they had virtually no leverage as far as holding out for more money).


The Hawks currently have a 14-man pitching staff, and it will likely increase to 17 or 18 by the time some of the other drafted players sign and get assigned to Boise. (Players who would be candidates for Boise who sign sometime beyond the first week after the draft usually spend about a week to ten days assigned to the AZL Cubs at Fitch Park before they are moved up to Boise).


Generally, ten of the Boise pitchers are considered "three-inning guys" and will "piggyback" with another pitcher, where one starts the game and throws three or four innings, and then the second pitcher throws three or four innings. The other pitchers on the staff (the "two-inning guys") rotate as closers, set-up guys, and middle-relievers.


The Boise club has a 35-man Reserve List (which is like a major league club's 40-man roster) and a 30-man Active List (which would be like a MLB club's 25-man roster). Injured players assigned to the Hawks usually are not put on the DL. Instead they are placed on the Hawks "Temporary Inactive List" (reserve list). Likewise, a player who is being converted from a position player to pitcher or catcher is usually placed on the Temporary Inactive List while the player learns the new position in the off-fields at Fitch Park.


Also, sometimes a player who quits Extended Spring Training and goes home is placed on the Temporary Inactive List until he files his official retirement papers or until the Cubs decide to release the player. An unofficially retired player who doesn't file his papers by the end of the season is usually either released during the off-season, or else is transfered from the minor league club's Temporary Inactive List to the Cubs Restricted List.


Here is the 2009 Opening Day Roster for the Boise Hawks:


BOISE HAWKS


* bats or throws left
# bats both


MANAGER: Casey Kopitzke
COACHES: Ricardo Medina (hitting), David Rosario (pitching), and Min-Kyu Sung (Korean player liaison and 1st base coach)


ACTIVE LIST:


PITCHERS (14):
* Jeffry Antigua
Yohan Gonzalez
Robert Hernandez
Su-Min Jung
Danny Keefe
Josh Lansford (ex-3B)
Tarlandus Mitchell
Jon Nagel
Dionis Nunez
Andres Quezada (ex-OF)
Miguel Sierra
* Ryan Sontag (ex-OF)
Larry Suarez
Josh Whitlock


CATCHERS (2):
* Matt Cerda (C-2B)
# Alvaro Sosa


INFIELDERS (7):
John Contreras (3B-1B-C)
Sean Hoorelbeke (1B-LF)
# Jose Made (2B-3B)
George Matheus (SS-2B-3B)
* Hak-Ju Lee (SS)
Greg Rohan (1B)
* Logan Watkins (2B-SS)


OUTFIELDERS (4):
Jae-Hoon Ha
Cody Shields
Kevin Soto
# Jose Valdez


INACTIVE LIST (4):
* Kurt Calvert, OF (left EXST Cubs in April & returned home)
Dylan Johnston, OF-RHP (at Fitch Park -converting from OF to RHP)
Dwayne Kemp, INF (at Fitch Park - injury rehab)
Cedric Redmond, RHP (at Fitch Park - injury rehab)

Return to Homepage

Comments

Really excited that the Korean Kids and Cerda got assigned to Boise. Sounds like we've got a pretty talented team there. Do you think there will be any more 2009 draftees to get sent there (assuming they do sign shortly)?

Phil, how long do you think Dylan Johnston will spend at EXST before he moves to Boise?

And, not relating to Boise, have any idea how Kyler Burke looks in CF? Can he stick there?

Jake Fox is in the starting lineup at third base for the Cubs. It'll be LF Soriano, SS Theriot, RF Bradley, 1B Lee, C Soto, 3B Fox, CF Johnson, 2B Blanco and P Harden.

vs.

Carroll (2B), DeRosa (LF), Martinez (1b), Choo (RF), Peralta (3b), Shoppach (C), Valbuena (SS), Francisco (CF), Lee (SP)

Guess it makes sense to start Fox with Harden pitching. Is Blanco supposed to be capable of hitting from the right side?

I think he only bunts from the right side...something about a shoulder injury and being more comfortable swinging from the left.

'bout time.

Good, glad to see Fox and Johnson in there against the lefty. I also have to say that I am liking Blanco. He's not a good player by any means, but he seems to do what a 25th man is supposed to do. Plays great defense at 2B and SS and he got that sac bunt down no problem yesterday in the 9th, a play that was key to win.

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2009/06/olney-on-ped...

Pedro not worth his current price tag and Indians are going to step up the DeRosa talks, Olney thinks Cards are the favorites.

Submitted by The Real Neal on Fri, 06/19/2009 - 11:01am. Really excited that the Korean Kids and Cerda got assigned to Boise. Sounds like we've got a pretty talented team there. Do you think there will be any more 2009 draftees to get sent there (assuming they do sign shortly)?

============================

REAL NEAL: If they sign before August, Cal CF Brett Jackson, LSU 2B D. J. LeMahieu, Kentucky LHP Chris Rusin, Texas A & M LHP/OF Brooks Raiey, SUNY - Old Westbury RHP Robert Whitenack, and The Citadel's C-1B Richard Jones are the most "valued" college picks and so all of them would be virtual locks for Boise.

Also, other experienced Div 1 college guys like Duke catcher Matt Williams, Missouri State RHP Tim Clubb, George Mason 1B Justin Bour, Western Carolina RHP Corey Martin, Miami U. INF Jordan Petraitis, Louisville 1B Andrew Clark, Oklahoma State catcher Kevin David, and Alabama IF-OF Brandon May would probably be Boise material, presuming they sign, and presuming there is room on the Boise roster for the player once they get into shape at Fitch Park.

The Cubs will probably take their time signing some of the middle-round picks, because they will want to watch them play in summer "wood bat" leagues before making a final offer.

And with the way the Cubs having been spending bonus money lately in the Pacific Rim,, they might be more-inclined to take a pass on more of their Top 25 round picks than in years past (the Cubs signed 25 of their first 26 picks last year). 

I wouldn't be surprised if the Cubs sign more Non-Drafted Free-Agent (NDFA) college position players (especially infielders) than usual as "roster filler" at Mesa (AZL Cubs), because they only have SS Robert Bautista and 2B-SS-3B Dwayne Kemp (who is rehabbing from a quad injury) there right now, and the AZL season starts Monday.   

Thanks!

Submitted by Charlie on Fri, 06/19/2009 - 11:19am.
Phil, how long do you think Dylan Johnston will spend at EXST before he moves to Boise?

And, not relating to Boise, have any idea how Kyler Burke looks in CF? Can he stick there?

======================================

CHARLIE: Kyler Burke is probably athletic enough to play CF and so he might be able to play there if necessary, but he really looks more like a prototypical RF to me. He has one of the Top 3 OF arms in the organization.

As for Dylan Johnston, if everything goes according to plan, he could get moved up to Boise sometime in mid-August. But I wouldn't be surprised if he spends the rest of the 2009 season at Fitch Park throwing bullpen side-sessions, "live" BP, and sim games. before getting assigned to the AZ Instructional League in September-October (where he can really learn his craft).  

Thanks Phil!

Is there any way someone could sneak over to the Indians' dugout and steal DeRosa a 'la Borat and put him in our dugout where he belongs? Please don't let anyone else in our division get him. He's not god, but damn, we could use him.

Thanks, AZ Phil. Looks like Nagel is slated to start the opener tomorrow night.

Do you know when the AZL roster will be finalized?

Submitted by Raisin101 on Fri, 06/19/2009 - 12:25pm.

Do you know when the AZL roster will be finalized?

====================================

RAISIN: No I don't. The AZL Cubs roster is a mess right now (or at least it was a couple of days ago when the Boise Hawks left town).

The AZL Cubs have just eight position players (total), including only two guys who can play 2B-SS-3B (and that icludes Dwayne Kemp, who is rehabbing ), so I would think they will have to sign a couple of infielders (maybe NDFAs) by today or tomorrow (or possibly 28th round pick Jordan Petraitis?). They're going to need at least one more catcher, too. Or maybe they'll just forfeit their AZL league games and play intrasquad sim games with off-duty pitchers shagging the balls in the field.

It might be a temptation to just play Gian Guzman at 3B, but the Cubs don't want to mess with guys who are being converted to pitcher. Or it would be nice if the Cubs could just bring up a half-dozen position players from the DSL, but it's difficult to get H2B visas on short notice.

The short break between the Rule 4 Draft and the start of the NWL and AZL seasons has definitely caused some problems.  

As of right now, it would appear that the AZL Cubs Opening Day lineup will look something like:

1. Francisco Guzman, CF
2. Robert Bautista, SS
3. Chris Weimer, 1B
4. Juan Medina, DH
5. Dwayne Kemp, 2B (if he can play)
6. Jesus Morelli, RF
7. Jose Guevara, C
8. Sean Williams, LF
9. TBD, 3B

The pitching staff should have 12 arms available (although I think Julio Pena might be injured because I didn't see him pitch the last couple of weeks of EXST)...

AZL CUBS PITCHERS:
Rogelio Carmona
Julio Castillo
Eduardo Figueroa
Gian Guzman (ex-SS)
* Cody Hams
Toby Matchulat
Julio Pena
* Marcos Perez
George Pineda
Carlos Rojas
Adam Spencer
* Melvin Vasquez

BTW, I suspect Nunez, Matchulat, and Vasquez were probably up for the last slot at Boise and Nunez won (although he would have been my third choice of the three), which is why Pena must be hurt, because otherwise I'm pretty sure he would have gotten a slot at Boise for sure.

Thanks!!

He was, I believe, a 4th round pick and people (or at least me) were excited that he hit a home run off Trevor Hoffman in his first professional at bat. I always had high hopes for him.

AZ Phil: Do you know how the team judges when to give up on a player as a hitter? Johnston's stats are terrible this year, but I think he may be only 22. Brandon Guyer's stats at Tennessee were also terrible (though rumors of "hard outs", which I am not too certain about) and was moved down to Daytona, but nobody seems to consider him someone that could be moved to pitcher.

Does it become a threat -- convert or we will release you (ala Ryan Harvey)? I must add that despite my rooting for Johnston, I am not questioning the conversion; this is just another example of a poor draft pick (and/or development) by the Cubs. Rather I am interested in how the Cubs decide to make such conversion.

minor league LD rates are a bit iffy, but if you buy into it, and they have been slightly better about keeping AA/AAA stats than A ball stuff imo, both Guyer and Castillo have had a measure of bad luck during their tenure at Tennessee this year. At the end of the day, though, upside and bad luck only takes you so far, but you still need some level of performance. Sorta reminds me of Josh Donaldson in Peoria last year - all the reports suggested he was making good contact, and that, in time, the numbers would go up.

I think there's a bit of "been there, done that" to a certain extent in that, we've seen Dylan struggle before. Actually, the guy I sorta want to see as a starter would be Drew Rundle, b/c IIRC, he was a decent prep arm (I could be totally off) and I'm just not a believer that he'll ever figure out the hitting side. I know a lot of folks got excited off that 1 month in Boise last year, but eh, wasn't really sold. That said, guess he is still young.

__________

On a side note, does anyone remember Dylan Johnston's pitching profile way back in the day? Just mildly curious what his velocity/stuff was back then and comparing it to what it is now, particularly since he has bulked up.

AZ PHIL-- thank you for all of this information. Thank you for bringing us all so deep inside.

AZ Phil - I saw conflicting information regarding Steve Vento. One spot said he was being sent to Boise. Another said he was being released. Have you heard anything?

Jordan Petraitis , 3B Kent St. is now listed on the Boise roster. Jose Made has been moved to Peoria from Boise.

Phil - Do you have an update on Rhee? I thought he was starting to throw a few weeks ago.

Submitted by DavidP on Sat, 06/20/2009 - 12:34pm.
Phil - Do you have an update on Rhee? I thought he was starting to throw a few weeks ago.

==============================

DAVID P: Dae-Eun Rhee is at Fitch Park and as far as I know he is throwing regular bullpen "side" sessions, but he's not ready for game action yet.

Submitted by Hagsag on Sat, 06/20/2009 - 7:29am.
Jordan Petraitis , 3B Kent St. is now listed on the Boise roster. Jose Made has been moved to Peoria from Boise.

===================================

HAGSAG: And RHP Mike Perconte and OF Cliff Andersen were demoted from Peoria to Boise, and 2009 15th round pick OF Cody Shields will start the season at AZL Cubs (Mesa) instead of at Boise (Petraitis & Shields switched places).

Submitted by Alex Dimm on Fri, 06/19/2009 - 10:39pm.
AZ Phil - I saw conflicting information regarding Steve Vento. One spot said he was being sent to Boise. Another said he was being released. Have you heard anything?

====================================

Alex D: I heard he was released. Also, I haven't seen him at Fitch Park, and he's not on the Boise roster.

Submitted by springs on Fri, 06/19/2009 - 3:27pm.
He was, I believe, a 4th round pick and people (or at least me) were excited that he hit a home run off Trevor Hoffman in his first professional at bat. I always had high hopes for him.

AZ Phil: Do you know how the team judges when to give up on a player as a hitter? Johnston's stats are terrible this year, but I think he may be only 22. Brandon Guyer's stats at Tennessee were also terrible (though rumors of "hard outs", which I am not too certain about) and was moved down to Daytona, but nobody seems to consider him someone that could be moved to pitcher.

Does it become a threat -- convert or we will release you (ala Ryan Harvey)? I must add that despite my rooting for Johnston, I am not questioning the conversion; this is just another example of a poor draft pick (and/or development) by the Cubs. Rather I am interested in how the Cubs decide to make such conversion.

==========================================

SPRINGS: Sometimes a player realizes (or is told) that he is unlikely to make it to the big leagues as a position player, and if the player has a plus-arm, he is sometimes advised that he might want to try pitching. But the Cubs will not convert a position player to pitcher unless and until the player agrees with the move.

Other times (like with Blake Parker), the player is doing OK as a position player, but (just like Roy Hobbs in The Natural) he happens to throw BP as a lark, and shows off a "big league" arm with quality stuff in front of a coach, and before you know it, he's a pitcher!

In the case of Dylan Johnston, he already was moved from shortstop to OF because of chronic defensive problems and because he was getting bottom-heavy, and the way things were going at Daytona I suspect he figured he was about to get demoted or released, and so he probably figured he might as well try pitching before it's too late.

In Dylan's case that is not exactly true, he was prensented with a couple of options:

1. Pitch
2. Be placed on the restricted list and/or ride the pine in Boise for the next two years.

He still thinks he can hit and would have rather try to do it somewhere else.

X
  • Sign in with Twitter