Iolani grad Ka‘aihue
loses Red Sox deal

The catcher fails his physical
because of an elbow injury

The professional baseball career of former Iolani catcher Kala Ka'aihue has been put on hold.

Ka'aihue had his contract voided and was sent home by the Boston Red Sox after he did not pass a team physical due to an elbow injury.

Red Sox scout Wally Komatsubara said Major League Baseball did not approve Ka'aihue's contract because of the injury. By having his contract voided, Komatsubara said, Ka'aihue can retain his amateur status.

Ka'aihue signed a national letter of intent with Hawaii in the spring and was selected by the Red Sox in the 22nd round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft on June 4.

Ka'aihue could not be reached for comment last night and his college eligibility remains in question.

Iolani coach Dean Yonamine said Ka'aihue hurt the elbow on his throwing arm between the end of the high school season and the draft.

"He was disappointed, but I guess he realizes it's a business too," Yonamine said.

Ka'aihue missed most of his junior season after suffering a broken foot in a preseason game. He returned as a senior and was among the Interscholastic League of Honolulu's most-feared hitters. He hit four home runs and drove in 22 runs en route to being named a first-team Interscholastic League of Honolulu all-star. He was also the Star-Bulletin's first-team All-State catcher.

He was also first-team All-ILH as a linebacker with the Raiders football team last fall.

He signed with Boston on June 9 and was assigned to the Red Sox's rookie league team, the Gulf Coast Red Sox, in Fort Myers, Fla. However, he did not practice nor play with the team.

"They were telling him it was just like he was never drafted, so he still has his amateur status. It's just a matter of hooking up with somebody," Yonamine said.

Despite the setback, Yonamine is confident Ka'aihue will find his way back to the professional level.

"He has the work ethic and mentality," Yonamine said.

Ka'aihue's brother, Kila, is a member of the Burlington Bees, the Kansas City Royals' Class A team in the Midwest League.


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