Getting Lei’ed: Hawaiian League News and Notes

The Brewers season ended Sunday and the minor league affiliates concluded in late August, but some may be surprised to know there are still some players in the Brewers organization that are still playing. Some of these are comprised in the few Brewer minor leaguers taking part in the Hawaiian Winter Baseball league.

A brief background on this league: It was founded in 1993. It bears a minute affiliation with the MLB, but also has players from the Korean and Japanese leagues on its rosters. The league boasts such well-known alumnus as Ichiro Suzuki, Derrek Lee, Jermaine Dye, Todd Helton and Jason Giambi, as well as current Brewers Craig Counsell, Gabe Kapler and Mat Gamel. Its season spans from late September through the middle of November.

Four Milwaukee prospects, Chris Cody, Caleb Gindl, Logan Schafer and Mike Ramlow, are taking part in the league as members of the West Oahu CaneFires – a team led by Brevard County manager Mike Guerrero. Though I’m off to a late start, I am going to try to get you up to speed on how each of these players have done to this point, and keep updates coming as the season progresses (I mean, I already made this awesome graphic… so I pretty much have to keep posting).

Mike Ramlow is a starting pitcher who spent the 2008 season between low-A West Virginia and high-A Brevard County. He excelled at both places, posting a combined 8-5 record and 2.68 ERA. Thus far Ramlow has continued to pitch well during his Hawaiian stint, going a league-leading 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA in three CaneFire outings.

Keeping with good minor league starters, Chris Cody, too, had a great minor league showing in ’08 between West Virginia and Brevard as well. Cody was obtained in 2007 when Milwaukee sent Joe Capellan to Detroit. He’s made the Brewers front office look very good since coming over. However, in Hawaii Cody hasn’t been himself so far, as his ERA sits at a sizable 6.48 over three games (two starts) spanning just 8.1 innings in which opponents hit .351 against the lefty.

Caleb Gindl is probably the most recognizable name of the bunch. Projecting like a Brain Giles-type hitter, the West Virginia outfielder has received press from such lofty locales as Baseball America, and Right Field Bleachers. Early on in Hawaiian play, Gindl is hitting just .250 (in 32 ABs mind you) but is fourth in the league in RBI with seven.

Gindl is joined in the outfield by Logan Schafer, a player who was selected by Milwaukee in the third round of the MLB First Year Player Draft back in June. Schafer put up respectable stats in an abbreviated season spent between Helena (Rookie) and West Virginia. In significantly less plate appearances in a CaneFires uniform, Schafer is hitting just .222 in 27 ABs, but his six walks has helped him to a .353 on base percentage.

The CaneFires are 6-3 with 27 games left to play. I’ll do my best to keep shorter and more frequent updates on these players and our adopted CaneFires coming as the season continues.


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