By Ray Hamill — The Humboldt Crabs expect to feature a core group of local players this summer, including College of the Redwoods freshman pitcher Caleb Ruiz.
With the uncertainty surrounding the Corona Virus crisis, it remains unclear whether the Crabs will actually get to play a season, but it’s full steam ahead for now, with the team announcing over the weekend that preparations are still under way for a campaign scheduled to open on May 29.
“Like I told everyone, we’re moving forward 100 percent,” said manager Robin Guiver, who was busy on the phone updating multiple players and Crabs personnel on Monday. “You can’t have a season if you don’t prepare for it.”
One possibility, if the team is unable to get the season started as scheduled, would be a shortened season, something they have considered.
“(Club president) David Sharp wants to do anything he can within reason and being smart,” Guiver said.
If and when the season does get under way, the Crabs will feature a strong contingent of local players.
In addition to Ruiz, a 2019 St. Bernard’s graduate who played this spring at College of the Redwoods, the Crabs will also feature Eureka’s Ethan Fischel for the first time, as well as a pair of returning locals, McKinleyville’s Dylan Campbell and Fortuna’s Kokko Figueiredo.
Campbell and Figueiredo, who each also played for College of the Redwoods, will be playing for the Crabs for a third straight summer.
Fischel was enjoying a breakout season of sorts at Willamette University before the spring shutdown.
“I’m glad to have him,” Guiver said. “He’s pretty physical and a real good kid.”
Likewise with Ruiz, who was second in the Golden Valley Conference in strikeouts when the season was halted and a bright spot in an otherwise disappointing season for the CR men.
Figueiredo and Campbell each have impressed in their time with the Crabs.
Figueiredo has been one of the team’s most consistent and discipled hitters for the past two summers, while Campbell has been one of the team’s most reliable arms out of the bullpen.