According to a news release posted on the Boise Hawks’ official website Sunday, Pawelek has been shut down for the remainder of the season.
The release suggests – though does not state outright – that Pawelek may have been "shut down" because of passport issues after he did not accompany the team to Vancouver for a recent five-game series.
When reached by phone, Pawelek denied that anything was amiss with his arm, or anything else pertaining to a physical nature. He declined to comment on why he was shut down.
But one team source told InsideTheIvy.com that the Cubs were furious with Pawelek over the passport issue, and that they told him to “just go home.”
The Cubs did not immediately respond to requests seeking comment.
Players are responsible for securing their passports and any other legal documentation needed when traveling outside the United States. Teams typically remind the players weeks – or months, when applicable – in advance of trips outside the country.
The Hawks are the only U.S.-based Cubs minor league affiliate to travel outside the country for games, and Vancouver is home to Canada’s only minor league team.
This isn’t the first time that unusual news has involved Pawelek. In 2006, he reportedly angered Cubs officials after arriving to his first spring training in poor physical shape.
In June, 2007, Pawelek missed nearly two months of the season after fracturing the radial head of his non-throwing arm – the result of tripping on a PlayStation, he said.
Pawelek was the 20th overall pick in the 2005 draft from Utah’s Springville High School. He was 10-0 with a zero ERA his senior prep season. With the Cubs, he has failed to make it past short-season A-ball for any extended period of time in three-plus years. In 13 games with Boise this season, Pawelek was 2-2 with a 6.20 ERA.