Although the parent club, the Chicago Cubs have been up and down so far, many possible future Cubs have been outstanding – including Jay Jackson at AAA, Andrew Cashner at AA, and Brett Jackson at A.
Away from the Cubs organization, Joel Peralta continues his dominance of the AAA ranks, now with the Syracuse Chiefs in the Nationals organization, and Brian Dopirak seems to be an injury away from becoming the next former Hawk to reach The Show.
But for me, the feel good story is Darin Downs, the likable former Hawk from 2004-06, who had a breakout season last year at Advanced-A Charlotte, but was nearly killed by a line-drive in his second start with AA Montgomery. Downs has recovered from a difficult offseason to start off just as he left off last year (when he was MILB’s Class A left-handed starting Pitcher of the Year), going 2-0 with a 1.59 ERA in the Southern League.
A total of 107 former Hawks are playing ball as of tonight – not including those down at Extended Spring Training. For a complete look a the former Hawks – click here –
While the four full-season minor league affiliates for the Chicago Cubs have started play, a group of 53 players remained in Mesa, Arizona, as part of Extended Spring Training – working on fundamentals and playing early morning Cactus League games against other Extended teams.
Of this group, 20 of the players are former Boise Hawks – including players learning the art of pitching (Dylan Johnston, Drew Rundle, Alvaro Sosa), while two other former Hawks are learning the art of catching (Jonathan Mota, Jae-Hoon Ha).
Thanks to Arizona Phil of The Cub Reporter – who attends every EST game, I have been able to compile statistics for the Boise/Mesa group through their first nine outings (3-4-2 during that stretch). You can find the stats by clicking this link –
On Tuesday afternoon, Hawks President/General Manager, Todd Rahr, spent a half hour on 670 KBOI-AM’s Nate Shelman Show to talk about the issue and take calls from listeners. The following day, he spent 15 minutes talking with Jeff Caves and Brian Murphy on 1350 KTIK-AM’s Idaho Sports Talk.
Rahr has developed his own blog to talk about the Treasure Valley Sports and Entertainment Complex at http://rahrinsight.blogspot.com/.