Here Come the Hawks, the Mighty... Boise Hawks!
Arismendy Alcantara singled, doubled, and tripled, stole a base, drove-in three runs, and scored two more, Richard Jones and Wes Darvill had three hits a piece, and Alvaro Ramirez clubbed a two-run HR, but it wasn’t enough, as Kyung-Min Na had three hits, stole two bases, and scored twice, and Xavier Batista had three RBI, leading the upstart AZL Cubs (Mesa Cubs) to a 9-7 victory over the Boise Hawks at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa this morning. The game was a pre-planned eleven-inning contest.
This was the final tune-up for the Hawks, who will fly from Phoenix to Boise tomorrow morning. Their first game will be Friday night at Yakima.
Some of the innings in today's game were terminated with less than three outs ("Roll It!") because the pitcher reached his maximum pitch limit for that inning, while other innings were extended beyond three outs ("Stay Out There!") to allow a pitcher to throw more pitches.
After the game, Boise Manager Jody Davis called Kyung-Min Na over to the Hawks post-game huddle from the Mesa Cubs bench ("Kyung-Min Na, come on down!"), as the speedy 18-year old Korean apparently won the Hawks' “4th outfielder” job (at least temporarily) with his outstanding play in today’s game. (Cody Shields would have been the 4th OF at Boise, but he will be left behind at Fitch Park after suffering a broken hand in an intrasquad game the last week of Extended Spring Training).
Infielder Brandon May was on the Boise bench today, but did not play due to a lingering sore left leg. I don't know if May will be traveling with the Hawks to Boise tomorrow, or if he will be remaining at Fitch Park for a few days to rehab the injury.
Also, 1B-3B Bobby Wagner will apparently be remaining at Fitch Park a while longer while he continues his conversion to catcher. He played with the AZL Cubs (Mesa) squad today, and he did not participate in the Hawks post-game meeting.
Here is today’s box score:
1. Alvaro Ramirez, CF: 1-5 (5-3, F-7, 6-3, HR, F-7, 2 RBI, R)
2. George Matheus, 3B: 1-5 (6-3, 6-3, 2B, F-7, K, R)
3. Jesus Morelli, RF: 1-5 (5-3, L-3, 1B+E7, 6-3, 4-3, R)
4. Richard Jones, 1B: 3-5 (1B, 1B, P-7, K, 1B, R)
5. Arismendy Alcantara, SS: 3-5 (6-4 FC, 3B, 1B, 2B, 5-4 FC, 3 RBI, 2 R, SB)
6. Runey Davis, LF: 2-5 (1B, K, 2B, K, F-8, 2 RBI)
7. Chris Huseby, DH #1: 0-4 (6-4-3 GIDP, 5-3, 5-3, F-8, BB)
8. Jose Guevara, C: 1-5 (1B, F-7, K, F-8, FC+E6)
9. Wes Darvill, 2B: 3-5 (3-6 FC, 1B, 1B, F-8, 1B, R, SB)
10a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST THREE TIMES THROUGH ORDER
10b. Jeff Vigurs, DH #2: 0-2 (F-7, 4-3)
1. Chris Huseby: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 2/0 GO/FO
2. Juan Yasser Serrano: 5 IP, 4 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 1 HR, 6/6 GO/FO
3. Austin Kirk: 5 IP, 5 H, 4 R (4 ER), 1 BB, 4 K, 1 WP, 1 BALK, 7/4 GO/FO
4. Corey Martin: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, 1 BALK, 2/1 GO/FO
5. Carlos Rojas: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, 3/1 GO/FO
George Matheus E-5 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base – eventually scored unearned run)
Jose Guevara: 0-3 CS
AZL CUBS (MESA CUBS)
1. Pin-Chieh Chen, 2B: 1-7 (1B, 4-3, 4-3, 1-3, F-8, F-9, 4-3)
2. Kyung-Min Na, CF-LF: 3-7 (1B, 2B, 4-3, 1B, F-8, 6-3, 4-1, 2 R, 2 SB)
3. Albert Hernandez, 1B: 2-6 (5-3, 1B, 6-3, K, 1B, E-5, RBI, 2 R)
4. Xavier Batista, RF: 2-6 (K, 2B, F-8, 6-3, 4-3, 1B, 3 RBI)
5. Sergio Burruel, C-DH: 0-5 (4-3, F-9, L-7, K, BB, 6-3, R)
6. Bobby Wagner, 3B: 2-6 (P-6, F-8, K, K, 2B, 2B, 2 R)
7a. Rafael Disla, SS: 1-5 (1-3, K, L-3, 3B, K, R)
7b. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FINAL TIME THROUGH ORDER
8a. Blair Springfield, LF, 2-6 (HR, K, 1B, 1-3, 5-3, F-9, RBI, R, SB)
8b. Melvin Camarena, CF: PLAYED DEFENSE ONLY - DID NOT BAT
9. Carlos Romero, DH-C: 0-6 (4-3, F-7, 4-3, 5-3, P-4, 6-3, 2 RBI)
1. Jose Rosario: 3.1 IP, 5 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, 1 GIDP, 1 BALK, 8/2 GO/FO
2. Jadel Mendez: 2.1 IP, 7 H, 5 R (5 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 3/2 GO/FO
3. Alvido Jimenez: 3.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K, 2/5 GO/FO
4. Tzu-An Wang: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K, 2/1 GO/FO
1. Blair Springfield E-7 (throwing error at 3rd base on single allowed batter to advance from 1st to 2nd base)
2. Rafael Disla E-6 (dropped throw at 2nd base on force attempt allowed runner to reach 2nd base safely – did not score)
Sergio Burruel: 0-2 CS, 1 PB
WEATHER: Hot and sunny, with temperatures in the 90’s
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 them 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, 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 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, and 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 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).
crunch 2 days 2 hours ago (view)
a 22 month old.
a'ite. i'm done with Earth. going to Pluto. don't bother visiting or calling. later.
Cubster 5 days 6 hours ago (view)
Jason Schmidt signs with Dodgers, 3/44.
crunch 5 days 7 hours ago (view)
20 year, 800m contract incoming...front loaded 150m over the first 2 years with a player opt out after that...
videographer 5 days 13 hours ago (view)
Darth Vader to rescue Carlos Correa's bruised ego.
crunch 5 days 15 hours ago (view)
carlos correa has hired scott boras...
bradsbeard 6 days 9 hours ago (view)
The IFA market isn't exactly an equal access thing. Not only do the Cubs have a slightly smaller bonus pool than some teams, players are often linked to teams through their trainers well before they are able to sign. It's not like when these kids are 14 that the teams know for sure that they have a top of the class player on their hands two years in the future.
Wrigley Rat 6 days 10 hours ago (view)
Cubbies.4ever - I read that the Cubs strategy with international free agents has been to spend most of their bonus money on young, position players and then take chances on cheaper, older pitching prospects who have been late bloomers (taller, stronger, more command of pitches, etc.). They are also grabbing guys at the end of the international signing period and signing them to future service contracts. They have six pitchers that were signed last year to future service contracts, and only one position player.
cubbies.4ever 6 days 11 hours ago (view)
Cubs IFA Signings are heavy on SS (given SS usually can play many positions as the develop), but only 1 pitcher. Given it's still early. Also disappointing that their best signing is #18. Gone are the days of Soler, Eloy, Torres, Marquez, Amaya etc. I believe Christian Hernandez last year was highly rated though.
Wrigley Rat 1 week 5 hours ago (view)
One more international free agent signing announced today: Daniel Benschop, OF, Aruba
bradsbeard 1 week 9 hours ago (view)
I hope all is well with AZ Phil. Hasn't posted in a few weeks and typically would expect him to have a post up tracking IFA signings. Maybe he's waiting for something official from the Cubs (who don't seem to have announced any of the signings officially)?
Cubster 1 week 12 hours ago (view)
Les Grobstein dies at age 69. Encyclopedic Chicago historian and longtime sports talk overnight radio host, plus a controversial listen. https://www.robertfeder.com/2022/01/17/les-grobstein-1952-2022/
Cubster 1 week 12 hours ago (view)
Hernandez ranks 18th on MLB's International prospect list. Sanchez ranks at #43.
Tribune article today on the Cub https://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/cubs/ct-chicago-cubs-alexis-hernan...
CubsCentral08 1 week 2 days ago (view)
List is up to 12 now
Adan Sanchez, C/3B, Panama
Alexis Hernandez, SS, Dominican Republic
Jefferson Rojas, SS, Dominican Republic
Josefrailyn Alcantata, OF, Dominican Republic
Carlos Altuve, C, Venezuela
Josias Ramirez, OF, Dominican Republic
Moises Febrillet, SS, Dominican Republic
Albertina Belliard, OF, Dominican Republic
Yidel Diaz, C, Dominican Republic
Freylin Silverio, RHP, Dominican Republic
Sandy Sanchez, SS, Dominican Republic
Darlin de Leon, SS, Dominican Republic
Wrigley Rat 1 week 2 days ago (view)
In addition to those signed today, it's worth noting that seven players were signed to future-service contracts during the last international free agent signing period, and are expected to make their system-debut this coming season (most likely in the Dominican Republic). Those players are:
- RHP - Luis Angel Reyes
- LHP - Kevin Valdez
- RHP - Jensi Ramirez
- RHP - Yafrerlyn Vasquez
- RHP - Eligio Paredes
- RHP - Jair Jimenez
- OF - Edward Vargas
Wrigley Rat 1 week 2 days ago (view)
The Cubs added four more International Free Agents so far today:
- Josias Ramirez, OF, Dominican Republic
- Moises Febrillet, SS, Dominican Republic
- Albertina Belliard, OF, Dominican Republic
- Yidel Diaz, C, Dominican Republic