Cubs’ fourth-round pick, pitcher Tyler Skulina, and outfielder, Jose Dore, will join the Cougars this evening, while two former Hawks, pitcher Juan Paniagua and outfielder Kevin Encarnacion, return to Boise.
Skulina made eight appearances for the Hawks, recording a 1.20 ERA in 15 innings of work – including three shutout innings in his start last night. Dore, who was traded to the Cubs from the San Diego Padres during Spring Training, played in 29 games in Boise, hitting .200 with two homers and nine RBI.
Paniagua, who tossed a scoreless inning with the Hawks during the 2012 postseason run, has a combined 0-2 record with a 2.74 ERA in 23 innings between the Dominican Summer League, the Arizona League, and Midwest League. The right-hander has one of the liveliest fastballs in the Cubs’ farm system.
Encarnacion opened the season in Boise, hitting .298 in 13 games, while hitting .217 with a homer and three RBI in 16 games at Kane County.
The Hawks roster currently stands at 30 players, with one player on the disabled list and another on a minor league rehab assignment.
My video of the Kris Bryant home run has been removed from YouTube per MLB Copyright Guidelines…
However, you can see the video at BoiseHawks.com at http://www.milb.com/multimedia/vpp.jsp?content_id=29171647&sid=t480
Here are the official game notes for tonight’s series opener between the Boise Hawks and the Spokane Indians at Memorial Stadium. It will be the home debut for first-round pick, Kris Bryant, along with second-round pick, Rob Zastryzny, getting the start.
Four of the selections will start for the South Division team – catcher Lance Rymel, first-baseman Jacob Rogers, second-baseman Danny Lockhart, and designated hitter Yasiel Balaguert.
Rymel, a 28th round pick of the Cubs in the 2012 is hitting .307 with eight RBI on the season and is one of the top defensive catchers in the NWL. Rogers, a 40th round pick in 2012, is tied for the league lead with 27 RBI and ranks second in the league with five home runs. Lockhart, a tenth round pick of the Cubs in 2011, is hitting .311 with 16 RBI and has four three-hit games this season. Balaguert, a free agent acquisition in 2012, is hitting .265 with four homers, eight doubles, and 27 RBI.
Other starters for the South include Salem-Keizer third-baseman Sam Eberle, Salem-Keizer shortstop Jeremy Sy, Salem-Keizer right-fielder Tyler Hollick, Eugene center-fielder Ronnie Richardson, and Hillsboro left-fielder Yogey Perez-Ramos.
Four Hawks were named reserves – including outfielder Shawon Dunston Jr., utility-man David Bote, and pitchers James Pugliese and Tyler Bremer.
With the Hawks winning the then East Division pennant last season, Boise manager Gary Van Tol and hitting coach Bill Buckner make up the coaching staff for the South squad.
Listen to the Top-10 Highlights of the First Half (The file is nine minutes long, so it will take a bit to load)
10 – Dunston Catch vs. Everett
9 – Hannemann go-ahead single in 9th at S-K
8 – Penalver bare-hand play at Eugene
7 – Penalver go-ahead 2-run double at Hillsboro
6 – Hankins diving play vs. Everett
5 – Balaguert 8th inning go-ahead HR vs. Eugene
4 – Hannemann walk-off bunt vs. Hillsboro
3 – Balaguert 8th inning go-ahead HR at Spokane
2 – Rogers walk-off single in extras vs. Eugene
1 – Rodriguez pinch hit HR in bottom of 9th
EUGENE, Ore. – The Boise Hawks, in conjunction with the Chicago Cubs, have announced a trio of roster moves prior to tonight’s series opener with the Eugene Emeralds.
The Cubs 2013 first-round draft pick, Kris Bryant, and third-round draft pick, Jacob Hannemann, will join the team in Eugene today, while reserve catcher Rony Rodriguez has been placed on the seven-day disabled list.
Bryant, the second-overall selection in the 2013 draft, becomes the highest draft pick to ever play in Boise. A pair of third-overall picks have worn a Hawks’ jersey – as Lou Montanez (2000) played for Boise in 2004 and Josh Vitters (2007) played for the squad in both 2007 and 2008. It marks the tenth-straight year that the Cubs have sent a first-round selection to play for the Hawks.
A third-baseman at the University of San Diego, Bryant hit .329 with 31 home runs and 62 RBI this spring – leading the NCAA Division I in home runs, walks, runs, total bases, and slugging percentage. A consensus first-team All-American, Bryant was named last week the Golden Spikes Award winner, giving to the best amateur baseball player in America. He was also named Louisville Slugger National Player of the Year and Baseball America National Player of the Year.
Hannemann, and outfielder from BYU, rejoins the Hawks after being placed on the seven-day disabled list on July 2. The 22-year-old hit .280 with a home run, three doubles, two triples, and three RBI in 11 games with the Hawks.
Rodriguez has played in 19 games this season for the Hawks, hitting .231 with one home run and five RBI.
The Boise roster is now at 30 players, along with one rehabbing player, and one player on the disabled list.
Game 1 of the three-game series with Eugene is slated for 8:05 p.m. (MT)
I have been with the Boise Hawks since the 2002 – ever since I scored a game between the Hawks and Salem-Keizer that ended during a seventh inning thunderstorm that struck a transformer across the street from Memorial Stadium and finished with managers Fred Stabley and Steve McFarland squabbling with me over the final score (S-K scored two in the top of the inning to lead 7-1, but Mac felt the runs shouldn’t have count – but they did).
The team has qualified for the postseason in 2002, 2004, 2006, 2011, and 2012 – but during that time, the Hawks have had just two perfect weeks…one during the Western Idaho Fair road trip in 2004 (the last time the team won a NWL title, the other over the past seven days.
A streaky team in an understatement for the 2013 Hawks – losing four straight in Spokane, then winning 7-of-8 (including a string of six in a row), before a tough stretch of eight losses in nine games to fall to 12-16 on the season. But a seven-game win streak, the longest since 2004 has the team back to three-games above the .500 mark – and guaranteeing at least a .500 first half.
The key to the success has been pitching and defense – as the Hawks have allowed just 13 runs in the seven wins (including the four runs allowed last Saturday night in the ninth inning against Vancouver), while Boise has committed just three errors in the seven games (.989 fielding percentage) and no unearned runs. The trio of Rob Zastryzny (left), Sam Wilson, and Zack Godley have combined for 12 innings in two wins, allowing just eight hits, one walk, and 11 strikeouts. Corbin Hoffner has been outstanding, allowing just four hits, no walks, and striking out five in six shutout innings – including working out of a bases loaded, no out jam at Hillsboro on Monday.
As a team, the Hawks are hitting .288 as a team – led by 16th round pick Cael Brockmeyer, who is riding a seven-game hit streak. Brockmeyer is hitting 7-for-14 with two doubles and three RBI during the run, while fellow catcher Lance Rymel is 6-for-12 during the streak and currently has an eight-game hit streak. Since rejoining the team after spending the Vancouver trip in Mesa, Carlos Penalver is 7-for-17 with three doubles and three RBI, while handling 25 chances at shortstop without an error.
The beginning of the run started with one of the crazier nights of the season – a fireworks night in Vancouver before a sellout crowd at Nat Bailey Stadium. But what made the night crazier was the fact that Trevor Gretzky’s dad was in attendance – in most instances (like a game he attended in Spokane), it wouldn’t be a big deal. But in Canada, where he is one of the true icons (right up with the Queen), it was the big thing…in fact, for Wayne Gretzky just to get outside the clubhouse to talk with his son and the Hawks after the game was a chore to navigate the thousands of rabid fans wearing 99 jerseys. It was almost as fun to watch the Hawks talk with “The Great One” after the game – and saw the players turn into fans, getting autographs and quick photos.
It was then to Hillsboro for the first trip into the newest yard in the Northwest League. For the players who have experienced Yakima in the past – I made sure to ask each of them what they thought. Early on, players wanted Yakima – because in the “Palm Springs of Washington” there were many food options for the players within a block of the hotel, while in Hillsboro, it was a 3/4 mile hike.
But when the team got to the new “field of dreams” in the West Hills, Yakima was truly in the rear-view mirror. Hillsboro has the biggest visiting clubhouse in the NWL, and the visiting clubhouse rivals most home clubhouses in the league. The yard has indoor batting cages – which keeps early work from being in the hot sun. And the Field Turf surface was true. Add in three straight loud and excited crowds, and it made for a great series.
From my end, the amenities at the ball park were outstanding. The sight lines were amazing, with a 360-degree concourse that fans can circle the field. The concessions were outstanding – from a Cobb Salad, to wood-fire oven pizzas, to a thai-pork sandwich that had to be the best meal I’ve ever had in the NWL. My radio booth was cozy (when the door was open, there was a wind-tunnel), but the best thing was windows on either side of me that allowed to see into the scorers booth for scoring decisions.
Returning home after nine days was a welcomed relief – as was a sellout crowd on a 104 degree day in Boise. Now, if we could just teach the Boise fans what Vancouver and Spokane masses do in the ninth inning (standing ovation, loud clapping) – maybe it starts with Zombie Nation playing after every strike?
NEWS AND NOTES: Two players have been called up in recent days – as Dae-Eun Rhee was removed from the disabled list and returned to the Tennessee Smokies (tossing three and two-thirds innings of two-run ball in his first start), and Matt Iannazzo made his second trip to Kane County this year. Up the ladder, former Hawk Robinson Chirinos has been sent down by the Texas Rangers to AAA Round Rock, while former Hawks catcher Micah Gibbs was recently signed by the Kansas City Royals.
I had the opportunity while taking pictures of brand new Hillsboro Ballpark to take a brief video of Cubs second-round pick Rob Zastryzny tossing his bullpen session with David Rosario…shows a good fastball and then a pair of great offspeed pitches.