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Apparently the Cubs’ concerns over the lack of facilities in Boise has spawned a series of rumors and a pile of misinformation regarding the future of the Boise Hawks. Yesterday I linked to a nice article written by Mike Safford, the Hawks’ radio voice, on the subject of declining attendance that dipped into the questions surrounding the team and the false rumors of it leaving town. Now the President of the team has responded as well.

I encourage all of you, whether you are in the Boise area or not, to read the letter in its entirety. It is an honest and candid glimpse into the business side of minor league baseball. To help the Hawks spread the message, though, let me summarize some key points.

  • Tom Ricketts has no part in the Hawks ownership group. He no more owns the Hawks than Bill Gates owns WGN. The Cubs provide and pay the players, coachers, trainers, and other team personnel as part of a contract with the Hawks. That’s it. The Hawks and the Cubs are two separate businesses (this applies to Iowa, Tennessee, Daytona, and Peoria as well).
  • Player facilities aside, there are some significant advantages to the Cubs staying in Boise. It is by no means certain that the Cubs will sign a contract with a different team at the end of this season if a stadium plan is not in place. But regardless of whether or not the Cubs stay in Boise, the Hawks could use a new stadium.
  • If the Cubs do leave Boise, another Major League affiliated team will arrive. The Hawks will still exist and will still be part of the Northwest League, they will just have players from a different farm system on their roster. Nothing else will change.

If you are in the Boise area you should be able to continue enjoying the Hawks for many, many years to come. Hopefully you will be able to do so in a new stadium that provides a far better experience for the fans as well as better facilities to the players. Hopefully you will continue to see future Cubs on the field, but even if the Cubs leave the Hawks will still be part of someone’s farm system.

And if you have been meaning to get to a game, be sure to do it soon. Boise fans may be witnessing the breakout of a special player in Jeimer Candelario. Some reports compare his bat favorably against the best prospects in the system. The sky is the limit with this kid, and he is in your back yard. For now.

Scores From Yesterday

Iowa – Iowa did not have a Happy Fourth of July. They lost 11-2.
Tennessee – The Smokies rallied in the ninth, but it wasn’t enough. They lost 4-3.
Daytona – Daytona had plenty of chances, but they had trouble scoring runs in this 5-2 loss.
Peoria – Peoria rode a big eighth inning to an 8-2 win.
Boise – Boise had the hits to win, but not the runs. They lost 5-3.
Arizona – Arizona had the day off.

Performances of the Day

  • [Iowa] Esmailin Caridad struck out four in his 2.2 innings of relief. He did give up a solo home run.
  • [Iowa] Brett Jackson hit fifth in this game and responded with a two hit, two stolen bases, one walk performance. I’d like to see the Cubs continue to hit Jackson lower in the order. Despite his speed, I think he is more likely to hit seventh in the majors than he is to hit first.
  • [Tennessee] Casey Harman and Ty’relle Harris combined to pitch 4.2 scoreless innings. They each gave up one hit, and Harman struck out two.
  • [Tennessee] In his fourth game as a Smokey, Greg Rohan hit his first Double A home run.
  • [Daytona] Robert Whitenack, Eduardo Figueroa, and Jeffrey Lorick combined to strike out ten in this game. Whitenack struggled, but Figueroa and Lorick pitched very well.
  • [Daytona] Rubi Silva, Rebel Ridling, and Ronald Torreyes all had two hits as well as a double each. Elieser Bonne stayed red hot with two hits of his own.
  • [Peoria] Dustin Geiger had a huge game, finishing 2 for 3 with two home runs and three RBI. He now has five home runs this season.
  • [Peoria] Oliver Zapata also enjoyed a good game. He hit his fourth home run and stole his eleventh base as part of his 2 for 4 effort.
  • [Peoria] Michael Jensen struck out five in six innings. He allowed one earned run (two runs total) on six hits, including a home run. Austin Reed struck out three in two scoreless innings of relief.
  • [Boise] Felix Pena pitched four innings of one hit baseball in relief.
  • [Boise] Chadd Krist and Rock Shoulders both had three hits, including a double each.

Other Minor League Notes

  • As poorly as the Iowa Cubs have played this season, it is hard to believe that they still have more wins than the team in Chicago. Then again, a fair percentage of the Iowa roster has spent some time in Chicago this season. Maybe it isn’t so surprising after all. Besides, the Iowa Cubs are still better than the Cardinals. That’s got to count for something.
  • Greg Rohan was older than we like to see players in High A, and even in Double A he is on the high side of the age bracket, but thanks to his numbers he should not be totally forgotten. He has hit consistently since arriving in Double A; more notable than his batting average, though, is that he has yet to strike out through four games. He remains on the fringes of prospectdom, at least for now.

Farm System Standings

AAAIowa Cubs : 35 – 52.
Pacific Coast League American Northern Division – Third Place: 20.0 Games Behind.

AATennessee Smokies : 6-8
Southern League North Division – Third Place : 3.0 Game Behind

High ADaytona Cubs : 7-7
Florida State League North Division – Fourth Place : 1.5 Games Behind

Low APeoria Chiefs : 4-9
Midwest League Eastern Division – Fifth Place : 5.0 Game Behind

Short-Season ABoise Hawks : 6 – 14
Northwest League East Division – Fourth Place : 5.0 Games Behind

Rookie LeagueAZL Cubs : 8 – 4
Arizona Rookie League East – Second Place : 1.5 Game Behind

  • MichCubFan

    I agree with Jackson hitting lower in the order. People automatically want to place a guy with speed as a leadoff hitter. I could see Jackson hitting 6th where he can drive in runs and use his speed in front of less talented hitters (than their 3, 4, 5 guys).

  • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

    I don’t think it matters where he bats in the order. The #7 hitter will come up to bat in the same situations as the #1 hitter, the #4 hitter, and every other hitter in the lineup.

    • Andy

      But on average the 7 hitter will have at least 50 less at bats a year than the 1 or 2 hitters. 7 hitters are better suited for the Darwin Barneys of the world, I would much rather have BJax bat somewhere in the top 5 if he can cut down on his K’s.

  • Featherstone

    I’m genuinely curious about this topic. If Jackson does not bat first in the order he really wouldn’t have another spot until 5th or 6th. I am amongst the group of people that believe Castro is a natural number 2 hitter and should remain there for a very long time. I like Rizzo in the 3 hole and one of the power hitting corner outfielders or 3B in the 4 slot. When you push Jackson lower into the order do you detract a bit from his good OBP skills and speed in the hope that his power potential will drive in the batters in front of him?

  • Evan

    Jackson needs to cut down on his strikeouts big time before I would even consider batting him leadoff.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      The K’s themselves are not relevant to being a good leadoff hitter:  a lot of awful leadoff hitters (see Pierre, Juan) did not K much.  OBP is the only stat that matters for a leadoff guy.  If a guy K’s a lot to go deep into counts, that is OK; conversely, if a guy hurts his OBP to cut down on K’s by putting pitcher’s strikes (or non-strikes) into play, then that is not OK.

  • EQ76

    We went to 2 straight playoffs with Soriano leading off.. I do remember him striking out quite a few times.. If we have a strong enough team fielded, Jackson can lead off and be just fine as long as his OBP is around or over .350. Remember, a leadoff hitter only leads off once in a game.

  • MightyBear

    Luke,

    Torryes seems to be coming on after a slow start. Any thoughts on him? He’s only 19 but seems to be a pretty good hitter even though he’s a little guy.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      He’s has one of the best hit tools in the system, but that’s also all he has.  He offers little no power, marginal speed, and better than average but not standout defense.  So long as he continue to hit for a high average, he has a long and bright career ahead of him.

  • MightyBear

    I don’t think Candelario is going to be at Boise for long.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      He may have to be.  Dustin Geiger is playing third base every day for Peoria, and he isn’t giving the Cubs any reason to demote him.  Nor do I think he can jump up to Daytona this soon (he got a late start from an injury).

      On the other hand, Candelario does not seem to be having any trouble at the plate.  I think the Cubs will keep him in Boise for awhile yet as a matter of stability, but I would not be surprised to see him pulled out of Boise for the second half of their season and moved up.

  • florida al

    I see Matt cerda is back from Tennessee. to Daytona. what’s with that?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Cerda hadn’t played badly in Tennessee, but he hadn’t been able to get consistent at bats at third, either.  He could in Daytona to get more regular work with the glove.   I believe he has missed some time with injuries this season, and that could be a factor as well.

      Greg Rohan took his roster slot and, as I mentioned in the article, has been playing well.

      • Joker

        Rohan looked like the real deal when I saw the team play Monday night. Compact stroke, good eye at the plate, knew how to position himself on defense. You could even see him talking to Lake and the relief pitchers, keeping them on their toes. He might not have the overall talent to succeed in higher levels, but I liked what I saw from him.

      • Brandon – AA Correspondent

        I got my first look at Greg Rohan last night and I came away impressed. In his first at bat in front of the home crowd, he went DEEP which is always a great site. Lost on the night was the very good defense he played as well. He helped start 3 or 4 double plays and looked very comfortable on the hot corner.

        You are right about Cerda….an early injury cause him to miss some time, and he never really got very consistent playing time. But, to be honest….when he did; he was not very reliable with his defense. I witnessed a few throwing errors to 2nd base to mess up a double plays, and several short hop throws to first base which led to more errors. Cerda’s bat looked like it was coming along prior to the end of the 1st half, so I was a bit surprised to see him sent down. I am rooting for Matt to get his consistency back up and hopefully ocme back to TN in time for a stretch run toward a 2nd half title.

        Junior Lake is still a joke. I have absolutley ZERO confidence in him getting a meaningful hit with runners on base. Breaking balls fool him (still…..) and he does not carry himself like a professional in any way. His uniform is sloppy (always untucked) and he simply looks like he is going through the motions. I know this is AA…but people can get phone calls to go to the Show from here…..and this kid looks like he is playing against his buddies in a sandlot game. Time to tighten it up Junior….we’re watching!

        Justin Bour continues to hit. He is confident and delivering quality AB’s on a routine basis. His defense has improved and it appears he has lost some weight, and is a little bit more nimble around the bag. All good things to see. Hopefully he can keep it up.

        Bullpen looked great last night (again). Ty’Relle Harris took a liner off of his pitching hand that looked pretty nasty, but he battle through it and finished the inning.

        That’s all for now…..WE NEED A WIN TONIGHT!

        GO SMOKIES!

        Brandon
        bhowes34 on twitter

        • DocPeterWimsey

          I want Rohan on the Cubs just so the crowd can shout DEATH!!!! whenever he bats…..

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