June 2013

3rd Round Pick joins the Hawks

HannemannThe Boise Hawks, in conjunction with the Chicago Cubs, have announced that 2013 third-round draft pick Jacob Hannemann has been added to the roster.

Hannemann, who had a banner season at Brigham Young University this spring, has joined the Hawks in Spokane. He is the second 2013 draft pick to be added to the Boise roster – joining catcher Cael Brockmeyer.

Hannemann, 22, was named the West Coast Conference Freshman of the Year this season after spending two years on a LDS mission. He batted .344 (74-for-215) with 16 doubles, seven triples, five home runs, 29 RBI, a .415 on-base percentage and a .553 slugging mark in 51 games for BYU, going 14-for-15 in stolen base attempts. Hannemann batted .385 with a .453 on-base percentage and a 1.084 OPS in his final 42 contests beginning February 27.

Following the season, he was named to the first-team Freshman All-America team by Louisville Slugger and a second-team NBWCA All-American.

The Cubs have now signed 11 of their 40 draft picks this season, including three of their top five.

Hawks Rained out in Spokane

???????????????????????????????SPOKANE, Wash. – Tonight’s Northwest League game between the Boise Hawks and the Spokane Indians has been postponed due to rain.

The two teams will make the contest up as part of a Saturday doubleheader, with the first pitch of Game 1 scheduled for 6:35 p.m. (MDT)

Rain has fallen steadily in the Spokane Valley for the past 36 hours – and is not expected to let up until Friday morning.  Avista Stadium is the lone NWL stadium with a natural surface that does not have an tarp – and despite outstanding drainage, the infield surface was unplayable.

It marks the first time since the 2007 season that the Hawks have had a game rained out – with Boise having to play doubleheaders that season in both Yakima and Everett.  Over the past four years, the Hawks have had two games shortened due to rain (2011 in Vancouver, 2012 in Yakima), while the club forfeited a game in August of 2010 due to playing conditions in Everett.

The two teams, weather permitting, will play their regularly scheduled single-game tomorrow night at 7:35 p.m. (MDT)

Hawks add first draft pick

BrockmeyerThe Boise Hawks, in conjunction with the Chicago Cubs, have announced that 2013 draft pick Cael Brockmeyer will join the team from the Spring Training facility in Mesa, Ariz.
Brockmeyer, a catcher from Cal State Bakersfield, was the Cubs 16th round pick in the first-year player draft, and marks the first member of the 2013 class to join the Hawks.
A native of Vineyard Haven, Mass., the 6-5 Brockmeyer earned All-Western Athletic Conference honors for the Roadrunners during the 2013 season.  The junior hit .330 with four home runs, 13 doubles, and a team-high 51 RBI.  He hit .285 with six homers and 32 RBI during the 2012 season – followed by a solid season in the Cape Cod League, where he hit five home runs for the Cotiut Kettleers.
Brockmeyer will join the team today and will be available for manager Gary Van Tol in tonight’s game against Salem-Keizer.  The addition gives the Hawks 26 players on their current roster.

6/16 Hawks Game Notes

GameNotesEvery now and then, I’ll post the Game Notes I produce for the contest that night.  Here is a Fathers’ Day special for Hawks fans…today’s game notes.

6-16-13GameNotes

Can We Leave Eugene Yet?

DSC03002It’s sad when one of my favorite stops in the Northwest League is starting to slip quickly down the list – but Eugene is starting to draw the ire that I’ve had for Salem ever since I starting doing this in 2003.

Not sure what has happened over the years, but there was something with the Ems that has changed since they decided to cross the Willamette River from their days at Civic Stadium and now “sharing” PK Park with the Oregon Ducks.

Yes, the press box is outstanding – even with air conditioning…but the Ducks mandate that the booth remains at 70 degrees, regardless of the weather, with the AC vents underneath your workspace (no chance I’ll ever – or any broadcaster, will wear khaki shorts in Eugene).  You are landlocked in the booth and there is no communication as to scoring decisions (not even on the scoreboard/videoboard), no communications for defensive changes – you are on your own as if you are at a high school game.  At Civic, there was a small window where the broadcasters could see the scorer for decisions and for errors, they would quickly dim the lights.

I feel more for the Hawks than anything else.  I talked yesterday about the “new” clubhouse and the nearly 15 minute one-way walk.  What I didn’t realize until yesterday was that the coaching staff are basically in a lockerroom – no desk for Gary Van Tol to do his pregame work (welcome to the club, skip), no place for the laptops for postgame reports, and for two nights in a row, no post game meal for the staff (guess Eugene’s clubbie doesn’t want a tip?).  Even worse is the condition for first-year trainer, Jonathan Fierro – as there isn’t a training room. When the team got to Eugene on Friday, the Ems were scrambling for a table or two for the training supplies to just be stored on, let alone a table for treatments/training.  The frustrating part of it all is a stone’s throw away is U of O’s training room that probably rivals the best of the best big league training rooms.

???????????????????????????????ON TO THE POSITIVES: How about the Hawks pitching staff! Despite the tough 1-0 loss last night to the Ems, it was as dominating effort by Boise pitchers in a long while.  Paul Blackburn made his short-season debut and was nearly unhittable, retiring 15-of-16 men, including eight strikeouts.  Corbin Hoffner pitched to contact, retiring all nine men he faced in his Boise debut.  Unfortunately, Tyler Bremer left a 2-2 pitch over the plate that Henry Charles hit over the wall to end the game.  Hawks pitchers have struck out 20 and walked just one man in 17 innings, allowing just six hits.

LOOKING AHEAD: Salem-Keizer took over first-place in the NWL South with a second-straight win over Hillsboro, winning 8-4 last night.  Everett leads the North, having taken a pair of 6-4 victories over Spokane.

ALUMNI LINKS:  Darin Downs Finally Sees Action with the Tigers, Tyler Colvin Back with the Rox, John Lackey Resilient in win over O’s

My Take on Opening Day in Eugene

IMG_20130614_172138Opening Day in Eugene was an interesting experience for the Boise Hawks in more ways than one – ending with a convincing 7-0 victory over the Ems, the first win in a season opener since the 2008 season.

The Hawks struggled initially when they arrived at where they “thought” was their clubhouse – as Eugene is the only team in the league with the changing room not near the stadium.  After waiting 10 minutes to learn where to go, the team was housed in the new football building – which forced the team to make a 12-13 minute walk (one way) to the stadium.  It marks the fourth season the Ems have been at PK Park and every year we hear there is going to be a clubhouse, and every year a different excuse.  Luckily for the Hawks it wasn’t raining…I wouldn’t want to have to walk in the rain to BP, back to change, back to the park for the game, then back to shower.

IMG_20130614_173350Another strange thing was pregame at PK Park.  Typically on Opening Day, the entire rosters have been announced, teams line up on the foul lines, and the National Anthem is played – the entire pomp and circumstance.  Game time was scheduled for 7:05, but all of a sudden at 6:57, the Ems took the field, the anthem was played, and first pitch was thrown at 7:00.  Strange?  Sorta like a sasquatch that is on the concourse at the stadium.

It was a match-up of looks, as the Hawks unveiled their new graphite/charcoal colored road uniforms, while the Ems wore uniforms that were white that faded into a “forest” with neon green numbers.  The Hawks uniforms looked sharp, although it was very difficult for me to pick up the numbers on the front and back of the uniforms from the press box (yes I need to get my eyes checked and probably need glasses, but it was hard to see).  You be the judge in these game highlights from KVAL-TV in Eugene

IMG_20130614_173422RECAP –Pitching dominated the game, as James Pugliese showcased his new delivery and picked up his first win.  The righty went five innings, allowing just three hits, striking out a career-high seven.  Shawon Dunston Jr. went 4-for-6, with Kevin Encarnacion and Danny Lockhart each rapping a pair of hits in the win.  Jacob Rogers hit a monster home run to center for the big hit of the night.

CONCESSIONS – Game 1 of the season featured hamburgers in the press box, but I had the opportunity to tour the park to see what they had to offer.  Since there are no permanent facilities for concessions, the Ems have a bunch of food trucks/trailers throughout the stadium – including a barbecue booth, a fish and chips trailer, and a Voodoo Donut booth that serves a Maple Bacon Voodoo Donut Bratwurst.  IMG_20130614_173334Prices in Eugene are a bit more expensive – $3.50 for a hot dog, $4.75 for popcorn, $4.00 for a small soda, $6.00 for a small domestic beer, $7.00 for a small microbrew.

AROUND TOWN – I mentioned it on the broadcast that Eugene is an interesting city, very liberal and reminds me a lot of my time living in Olympia, Wash.  Dreadlocks and tie-dyed shirts are everywhere, as if we are still in the late 60s and 70s.  So with that, I saw a restaurant while taking a walk for lunch yesterday – thought the restaurant fit my description perfectly.IMG_20130614_114302

Off and Running to Eugene

IMG_20130613_145712Road Trip No. 1 is off and running – with Eugene the destination for the first of two jaunts to “Tracktown USA”.  The home of the University of Oregon joins Des Moines, Iowa, as the top two running towns in the U.S. and everywhere you turn, there are runners/joggers/bicycles everywhere.

The team left Boise Thursday at 8:50 a.m. (10 minutes early – that never happens) and cruised on our new travel partner, a big purple Caldwell Transportation Company coach (same carrier that I’ve worked with at College of Idaho for over a decade).  After a quick pit stop at Biggs Junction in the Columbia Gorge – where the entire staff got free Subway sandwiches (except Gary Van Tol), we stopped for the second-straight year at Multnomah Falls, where the players got to see one of the tallest waterfalls in the Northwest.

IMG_20130613_150146We hit rush hour traffic in Portland and hit some nasty thunderstorms (in fact, it was the one that spawned a tornado in McMinnville, Ore., about 30 minutes before we came through), before we got to Eugene just after 6 p.m.

Movie Report – it was a three movie trip, as new trainer Jonathan Fierro opened the season with Anchorman, followed up by another bus classic, Super Troopers, and closed it out with Forgetting Sarah Marshall…a movie I had not seen.

New Hotel – the team is staying at a Holiday Inn in Springfield, across the street from one of our former hotels, a Shilo Inn.  Nice property with big rooms, and the staff welcomed the team with popcorn and granola bars on arrival.IMG_20130613_151204

Cubs Send Hamann and Lang to Boise

 Hamann2The Chicago Cubs have assigned two additional players to the Boise Hawks initial roster, as right-handed pitchers Mike Hamann (right) and Trey Lang will join the team prior to Friday’s opener at Eugene.The duo pushed the Hawks roster to 25, including 13 pitchers. Hamann will wear jersey number 17, while Lang will join the team in Eugene tomorrow – with his number to be determined.

Click here for the updated Boise Hawks numerical roster

Hamann is in his second season in the Cubs organization and is making his second trip to Boise…spent the last week with the Double-A Tennessee Smokies, but did not see game action…split time last season between Mesa and Boise – making one appearance in rookie ball, tossing a scoreless inning on June 26…joined the Hawks on June 30, making seven appearances – going 0-0 with a 5.91 ERA…picked up his first professional save on July 24 vs. Yakima…missed the final month of the season due to injury…a 16th-round pick in the 2012 draft by the Cubs out of the University of Toledo…went 3-5 with a 5.80 ERA as a senior…fastball sits at 90-93, touches 95.

Lang is in his second season in the Cubs organization and will make his first trip to Boise…spent last season in rookie ball, going 0-0 with a 3.29 ERA in seven appearances – striking out 11 in 13.2 innings of work…tossed four shutout innings vs. AZL-Royals on July 31…a sixth-round selection in the 2012 out of Gateway CC…fastball can touch 94-95 with a good slider…also spent a season at Northern Illinois.

The Hawks open up the Northwest League season in Eugene on Friday night.  Hawkstown Tonight debuts at 7:05 p.m., with first pitch set for 8:05 p.m. live on 1350 KTIK-AM with Mike Safford calling the action.

2013 Boise Hawks Roster

HawksLogoThe Chicago Cubs have announced an initial roster of 23 players that will arrive in Boise tomorrow, the first wave of 2013 Boise Hawks to head to the Treasure Valley.

Click Here for the Boise Hawks Roster (as of June 10)

Click Here for Profiles of the 23 Boise Hawks Players (as of June 10)

The group includes 11 pitchers, three catchers, five infielders, and four outfielders – which will open the Northwest League season on Friday at Eugene.

Six players will be making a return trip, while no players have initially been assigned to Boise from the 2013 first-year player draft.

PuglieseBRight-hander James Pugliese (right) was tabbed the Opening Day starter by manager Gary Van Tol.  Pugliese, who led the Hawks last season with 51 strikeouts, posted a 1-5 record and a 5.37 ERA in 60.1 innings of work.

A pair of highly-touted 2012 draft picks will also be in the rotation, as supplemental first-round pick Paul Blackburn and second-round pick Duane Underwood head to Boise.  Blackburn went 2-0 with a 3.48 ERA last season with the Mesa Cubs, while Underwood, who has a mid-90s fastball, made five appearances last season in rookie ball.

Returning pitchers Tyler Bremer and Matt Iannazzo return in bullpen roles, joined by 2012 draft picks Corbin Hoffner, Ethan Elias, and Jasvir Rakkar.  Other arms include Cuban defector Carlos Martinez, Venezuelan Loiger Padros, and Orbandy Rodriguez of the Dominican Republic.

RymelThree catchers are on the initial roster – including returning Hawks Justin Marra and Lance Rymel.  Rymel (left) will join the club after spending the past two weeks with the AA Tennessee Smokies.  Rony Rodriguez, who played last season in independent baseball, will also be in the catching mix.

The infield will be anchored by slugger Jacob Rogers and slick-fielding shortstop, Carlos Penalver.  Rogers hit four home runs between Mesa and Peoria last season, while Penalver is noted as one of the better defensive middle infielders in the organization.  David Bote heads to Boise after stops in both Daytona and Kane County, while Trevor Gretzky and Danny Lockhart make their first trips outside of rookie ball.  Gretzky is the son of NHL legend Wayne Gretzky, while Lockhart is the son of former MLB infielder, Keith Lockhart.

The outfield will be roamed by returning Boise Hawk, Shawon Dunston, Jr., along with Yasiel Balaguert, Kevin Encarnacion, and Jose Dore.  Dunston, the son of former MLB shortstop, Shawon Dunston, split time between Boise and Mesa last season.  Balaguert had 33 RBI between Mesa and Peoria last season, while Encarnacion has stolen 55 bases and driven in 73 runs in 181 games in the Dominican Summer League.  Dore returns to the NWL for the third-straight year after spending two seasons in the San Diego Padres system with the Eugene Emeralds.

The Hawks land in Boise tomorrow at 5:20 p.m., with Media Day scheduled at Memorial Stadium at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday (no exhibition game will be played on Wednesday night due to current depth in the pitching rotation).  The team will leave Thursday morning for Eugene, with first pitch at PK Park on Friday night at 8:05 p.m. – live on 1350 KTIK-AM.

2013 Cubs Draft Roster/Stats

Cubs1The 2013 First-Year Player Draft has concluded, with the Chicago Cubs making 40 selections – including 19 pitchers, six catchers, six infielders, and nine outfielders

Of the group, 16 of the 19 pitchers selected were college arms, while 30 of 40 players were of the college variety.

Click Here for the Complete 2013 Chicago Cubs Draft Roster

Click Here for Statistics for the 2013 Chicago Cubs Draft Picks

Of note from Idaho, only five players with ties to the state were drafted – Rocky Mountain High’s Mason Smith (4th Round to San Diego), Fruitland High’s Joey Martarano (14th Round to Philadelphia), Washington State’s J.D. Leckenby (15th Round to the New York Mets), College of Southern Idaho’s Isaac Anderson (34th Round to Kansas City), and Lewis-Clark State’s Cody Lavalli (37th Round to Texas).

 

High Heels {and} Highlights

from a woman in BASEBALL . . .

The Cougars Den

Major League fun since 1991. The official blog of the Kane County Cougars.

Muskat Ramblings

MLB.com's Carrie Muskat has been covering Major League Baseball since 1981 and is the author of "Banks to Sandberg to Grace: Five Decades of Love and Frustration with the Cubs." You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. Here, she blogs about the Cubs.

Ben's Biz Blog

The Greatest Minor League Baseball Blog of All Time