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!).
Cubs Minor Leagues
Kyler Burke had three hits including a solo HR and an RBI single, but it wasn't enough, as the Peoria Chiefs were defeated by the Kane County Cougars (Oakland A's "Lo-A" affiliate) 9-5 at the Papago Park Sports Complex in Phoenix today (and yes, I did watch both games simultaneously)...
Here is today's abridged box score (Peoria Chiefs players only)...
Jovan Rosa had three hits, including a grand slam HR crushed over the CF fence, as the Daytona Cubs and Stocton Ports (Oakland A's Hi-"A" affiliate) played to an 8-8 tie at the Papago Park Sports Complex in Phoenix this afternoon.
A 21-year old corner infielder signed by the Cubs as a "Draft & Follow" out of Lake City JC (FL) in May 2007, Rosa led the Midwest League in doubles last season with 43.
Here is today's abridged box score (D-Cubs players only). Note that Russ Canzler and Marquez Smith have been demoted from AA Tennessee to Daytona, apparently an indication that OF Brandon Guyer and INF Jonathan Mota may have made the Tenneessee Smokies Opening Day roster.
Also, Tyler Colvin (rehabbing from Fall 2008 TJS) will be the DH with Daytona until he is ready to return to the outfield at either Tennessee or Iowa later this season.(Daytona plays in a league that uses the DH in all games, while AA Tennessee and AAA Iowa only use the DH when playing an American League affiliiate on the road).
I had so much fun watching the Iowa Cubs yesterday at Fitch Park, I decided to follow the Cubs' AAA affiliate to neighboring Tempe today as they took on the Angels AAA affiliate (the PCL Salt Lake Bees) at the Angels Minor League Complex at Diablo Park.
While it isn't unusual for one or more Cubs major leaguers to play in a AAA game (esprcially when the big club has a night game), that wasn't the case today
Kyle Reynolds smashed a two-run homer and Doug Deeds blasted a solo shot, but that's all the runs the Cubs could muster. And since tthe four Cubs pitchers were (mostly) ineffective, the I-Cubs lost, 7-3.
Here is today's abridged box score (Iowa Cubs players only). Some of the more observant among you might note that most all of the I-Cubs who played today were at big league camp not too long ago...
-- Tigers, Diamondbacks, Nationals, Astros; that's your complete list of the teams which ranked lower than the Cubs in Kevin Goldstein's organizational rankings at Baseball Prospectus (subscription required).
Goldstein's comments about the Cubs, who stood 16th in his '08 rankings:
"Josh Vitters is one of the best pure hitters in the minors; 2008 top pick Andrew Cashner's post-draft struggles were a fluke and his stuff will play; Jeff Samardzija finally began figuring things out."
"Other than Vitters, there is
really not a single hitter in this system that excites anyone; the
weakness in terms of the organization's depth is the key reason that
the long-rumored Jake Peavy deal never went down."
"Samardzija is the only player who is likely to lose his prospect status; there's no reason to see (the Cubs) moving up considerably (in the rankings)."
--We all know that spring training numbers mean next to nothing, but since Opening Day is, what, another 11 weeks away?, they're the only numbers we have, so let's enjoy them, dammit!