Harrison called up to Pirates, some catching up…
I was able to take my lone one-week vacation of the year last week – so appologies for the lack of posts, as the Safford’s went to the Upper Midwest – Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois (more on the trip on the next blog – including pictures from our trek to Wrigley Field).
Bunch of news while I was gone, including the 85th former Boise Hawk to play in the Major Leagues, as Josh Harrison was called up by the Pittsburgh Pirates last Monday. The 2008 Northwest League All-Star was hitting .321 with two homers, eight stolen bases, and 11 RBI in AAA Indianapolis before getting the promotion. He joins former Boise and college teammate, Tony Campana, in the Show.
Harrison and Campana, along with Al Alburquerque and Brandon Guyer, mark four former Hawks that have made their debut in the Major Leagues in 2011.
More on the MLB front – Rich Hill (’02/’03) injured his throwing elbow a week ago and has been placed on the 15-Day DL by the Red Sox, with all reports out of Boston not good, as it could be a season-ending injury. Tough news for the tall lefty, as Hill had found a niche as the lefty specialist out of the Boston pen. John Lackey (’99) replaced Hill on the active roster, removed Sunday from the DL.
The carousel for the Cubs has continued – as Lou Montanez (’04) and Tyler Colvin (’06) were both promoted from AAA Iowa after injures to Reed Johnson and Alfonso Soriano depleted the Cubs depth. Two other former Hawks flip-flopped – as Welington Castillo (’06) returned to Iowa after Geovany Soto (’02) was removed from the 15-Day DL.
On the minor-league front, Alberto Cabrera (’06) has been called up to AAA Iowa – but replaced former Hawk, J.R. Mathes (’04), who was released after seven seasons in the Cubs organization. Mathes, who helped the Hawks to the 2004 NWL pennant, was the all-time leader in Iowa Cubs wins – spending four seasons in Des Moines, but had a ballooned 8.93 ERA. Larry Suarez (’09/’10) has been promoted from Extended Spring Training to Low-A Peoria, with Jeff Antigua (’09) promoted from Extended to High-A Daytona. Aaron Shafer (’08), who was released by the Cubs at the conclusion of Spring Training, was signed by the Atlanta Braves.
Extended Spring Training came to a close over the weekend – with those players who did not earn a spot on the long-season squads playing 56 games at Fitch Park and surrounding Spring Training facilities. Thanks to updates from The Cub Reporter’s Arizona Phil, the Mesa/Boise squad went 16-27-7 in games that he was able to attend – with some impressive numbers put up by 2010 Hawk Matt Loosen (2.25 ERA in 28 IP, 40 K’s), along with 2010 Hawk Pin-Chieh Chen (.295, 5 2B, 8 3B, 11 RBI). For a look at the complete “unofficial” Extended stats click here (Final Extended Spring Stats), along with the final Extended Spring roster – which will help make up the initial Hawks roster next week (Final Extended Roster)
Look for complete coverage of the Cubs selections in the First Year Players Draft in the coming days – as the Hawks are just ten days away from the season opener in Eugene.