The Ems have arrived with some familiar faces.
Byline: Steve Mims The Register-Guard
Eugene will have an all-new roster this season, but some of the Emeralds are familiar with the Northwest League.
The first group of Emeralds who arrived in town Monday included four players who spent last summer with the Boise Hawks, which had been the short-season Class A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. Eugene ended a 14-year affiliation with San Diego following last season and signed a deal with the Cubs.
All four Ems who played for Boise last season are pitchers including Sam Wilson, an eighth-round pick of the Cubs in 2013 who was 5-1 with a 3.62 ERA in 16 relief appearances. Dillon Maples and Corbin Hoppner went in the 14th round in 2011 and 2012, respectively, and Greyfer Eregua was signed from Venezuela.
Manager Gary Van Tol takes over the Emeralds after leading Boise to the playoffs in each of the past two seasons. Boise went 41-35 in 2013 and 2014.
The Emeralds are scheduled to have their first workout at PK Park this afternoon in advance of opening the season at Everett on Thursday.
The 22 Emeralds on the original roster are all veterans of the minor leagues with the Cubs. They will be joined in the next few days and weeks by players drafted earlier this month once they sign with the Cubs.
Fourteen of the Ems are moving up this season from the Arizona League, where the Cubs have their rookie-level affiliate.
That list includes pitchers Carson Sands, a fourth-rounder in 2014, and Justin Steele, a fifth-rounder in 2012.
Pitchers Adbert Alzolay, Pedro Araujo, and Jordan Brink are also moving up from Arizona along with Andin Diaz, Jose Paulino and Alexander Santana.
Infielders Tyler Alamo, Adonis Paula and Ho-young Son were in Arizona last year with outfielders Eloy Jimenez, Ricardo Marcano and Kevonte Mitchell.
Pitcher Oscar De La Cruz and infielder Frandy De La Rosa are moving up from the Dominican Summer League. Third baseman Varonex Cuevas began this season playing for Triple-A Iowa and outfielder Jae-Hoon Ha is on rehab assignment from Iowa.
The only catcher on the roster is Erick Castillo, who spent last season at Double-A Tennessee.