Infielder Wes Darvill joined the Cougars in time for Thursday’s season opener after the parent Cubs made a string of transactions to bring the Cougars’ roster to 25 players. A fifth-round pick of the Cubs out of high school in 2009, Darvill spent last season playing in the Midwest League for then-Cubs affiliate Peoria, batting .224 in 116 games. Kane County Chronicle sports reporter Kevin Druley caught up with Darvill for this week’s edition of the Weekend Chit-chat, asking about Darvill’s experience with the organization as well as the Langley, B.C. native’s Canadian heritage. The following is an edited transcript:
What was the whole process of learning you’d be coming to the Cougars?
Well, I was kind of going to be on a bench role with [Triple-A] Iowa just for a couple weeks while [Cubs second baseman Darwin] Barney was on the DL. Just fill in, maybe pinch-hit a little bit. And then they signed a couple players off waivers, so they didn’t need me anymore, so I came here.
Were you bummed, or is it that case of you just wanting to play ball?
Yeah, play ball. I mean, it would have been a great experience up there, but, you know, I probably wouldn’t have gotten to play a whole lot, so I’ll get to play more here. I think this is the better option for me, for sure. … You get to know all the guys in spring training, have laughs with them, and everyone’s pretty close.
What’s been said in the clubhouse about the proximity of this team to Chicago?
Yeah, I think it’s going to be a lot of fun, for sure, the close proximity. I played here a little bit last year when I was with Peoria, and it seemed like whenever we came here, it was a pretty good crowd. So hopefully now that we’re the home team here, it should be good, so I’m excited.
In Peoria, is there much bus talk or excitement when you’re going to Kane County as opposed to elsewhere in the league?
No, I think it was more one of those things you just kind of get there. It’s baseball everywhere you go, but it’s always fun to play in front of a little more fans.
Tell me about your baseball background in British Columbia.
I started playing ever since I could walk and everything. So yeah, I’ve been playing since a really young age. I’ve always loved baseball. It’s my first love.
How much do folks follow the sport there with the [Toronto Blue Jays’ short-season] affiliate in Vancouver?
It’s pretty followed. I think they do pretty well as far as crowds. I think baseball is a pretty big sport in BC. We have more of a mild climate than other places, so there’s a lot of baseball played, and it used to be a Triple-A team back years ago [from 1978-99]. It’s a real nice stadium, and fans love the game up there, too.
Do you and your countryman, [left-hander Brian] Smith, carry the Canadian flag in the clubhouse or anything?
No, we don’t, but we played for the Canadian junior national team back in high school, so it was good to see when he got drafted by the Cubs. It’s always good to have Canadians.
Being in Canada and playing baseball, how much did you know about the Cubs and the whole 1908 thing?
Honestly, when I was growing up, I really didn’t know too much about it. But now I do realize how big of a deal it is to play for the Cubs. How they’re not just trying to develop players individually, but also to develop them as winners, as well. And that’s a very important thing.