Boise Hawks Alumni Report (May 4, 2011)

A month has now went by the wayside in the 2011 baseball season, and for former Boise Hawks, the comings and goings have been at a whirlwind pace.

You can view the entire list of over 120 former Hawks in pro ball by clicking the following link Alumni Report 5-4-11.

Over the last week – two former Hawks were recalled from the minor leagues – Alfredo Amezaga (’99) got the call up from the Rockies, and Rich Hill (’02/’03) got the call from the Red Sox (just after the Alumni Report was complete – so he is not indicated on the list).  Amezaga was hot at AAA Colorado Springs, hitting nearly .400 in his time in the Pacific Coast League, while Hill, a former Cubs starter, has retooled himself as a lefty reliever, going 1-0 with a 1.13 ERA at Pawtucket before the trip to Fenway Park, where he tossed an inning and two-thirds of scoreless relief on Thursday.

Others on the radar are Ronnie “Bear” Bay (’03), who was signed by the Angels and is in the rotation at AAA Salt Lake, while Erik Hamren (“08) was signed by the Padres and is a set-up man at Advanced-A Lake Elsinore.  The goings have also happened, as former Hawks pitcher (and catcher) Jake Muyco (’05/’08) and pitcher Luke Sommer (’08) have been released by the Cubs.

Though the position players in the big leagues have struggled, former Boise pitchers have had a great start to 2011.  Ricky Nolasco (’02) is 3-0 with a 3.35 ERA for Florida, while out of the pen, Francisco Rodriguez (’99) has put the rocky end of last season behind him, going 1-0 with six saves for the struggling Mets.  Rookie Al Alburquerque (’07) has struck out 16 men in just nine-plus innings for the Tigers, the Cubs’ Jeff Samardzija (’06) has found his form from 2008, posting a 2.45 ERA in 18 innings, while Sean Marshall (’03) continues to be one of the top set-up men in the NL, recording a 0.75 ERA for the Cubs in 13 appearances.

At the AAA level, Andy Sisco (’02) has resurrected his career after three injury plagued seasons, not allowing a run in 11 appearances for Scranton Wilkes-Barre in the Yankees organization, while Jose Ceda (’06) looks to be getting into shape in New Orleans, recording a 0.69 ERA and six saves in 11 appearances, hoping to get a call-up from Florida.  Dontrelle Willis (’01) continues to throw well for the Reds affiliate in Louisville, recording a 2-1 record and a 2.10 ERA in five starts for the Bats.  Brandon Guyer (’07) leads all position players, hitting .370 with six homers and 18 RBI for Durham in the Tampa Bay organization (after being traded with Robinson Chirinos, Chris Archer, Sam Fuld, and Hak-Ju Lee in the Matt Garza deal), while Cubs’ free agent Lou Montanez (’04) has tore up the Pacific Coast League, hitting .393 with 28 RBI with the I-Cubs.

At AAA, despite the Tennessee Smokies hitting a bump in the road in the W-L column – sit in second place in the Southern League North, the hits continue for former Hawks.  Rebel Ridling (’08) has seen time at first base and the outfield, hitting .373 with five homers and 18 RBI, Ryan Flaherty (’08) has found his power stroke, leading the Smokies with seven home runs and 22 RBI, while Steve Clevenger (’06/’07) continues to produce for the fifth-straight year, hitting .360 with three homers and 16 RBI.  On the mound, Robert Whitenack (’09) has been the pleasant surprise, going 3-0 at Daytona before being called up to AA, making two quality starts with the Smokies.  Also throwing well is Darin Downs (’04/’05/’06), who is 1-1 with a 3.41 ERA at Jacksonville in the Marlins organization.

At Advanced-A, Hak-Ju Lee (’09) continues to be one of the premier youngsters in the game, hitting .410 for Charlotte in the Tampa organzation, while Justin Bour (’09) has had a great last two weeks, upping his average to .258 with six homers for the D-Cubs.  Teammate Jae-Hoon Ha (’09) has continued to have a great season, hitting .340 with four homers, seven doubles, and 17 RBI.  On the mound, relievers Jeff Beliveau (’08) and Ryan Searle (’08) have thrown well in Daytona, Beliveau with a 0.57 ERA in 15 innings and Searle a 1.10 ERA in 16 innings.

At Class A, Peoria manager Casey Kopitzke (’09 manager) has been blessed by the starts of Greg Rohan (’09) and Micah Gibbs (’10) – Rohan hitting .357 with three homers, 10 doubles, and 21 RBI, while Gibbs has found the stroke that eluded him last season, hitting .375 and currently riding a 10-game hit streak.  Austin Kirk (’09/’10) looks to have a chance for a call-up to Daytona, going 2-1 with a 2.28 ERA in his first five starts.

17 former Hawks are still in Extended Spring Training – including Kyler Burke (’07/’08), who tossed a 1-2-3 inning in his first outing as a pitcher in Mesa.  Angel Guzman (’01) and Jon Nagel (’09) are both also down on rehab assignments.

On the Independent front – seven former Hawks have signed contracts for 2011 – including Drew Rundle (’07/’08) with Florence in the Frontier League, James Leverton (’08) with New Jersey in the Can-Am League, and Jon Hunton (’04) with Grand Prairie in the American Association.  Two others have started their Indy seasons in the Atlantic League – Chris Walker (’02/’03) with York and Carlos Vasquez with Camden.

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