BOISE — Jose Dore has played 50 games in a Eugene uniform, and he closed out the Northwest League season with the Emeralds last year.
He begins this season at Eugene in a Boise Hawks uniform.
"It's crazy," Dore said. "I'm going to see a lot of familiar faces, and I'm sure it's going to be a good series."
After three years in the Padres' organization, Dore was traded to the Chicago Cubs in the offseason.
"It was the last thing I thought would happen," said Dore, who was selected by the Padres in the eighth round of the 2010 draft. "I got called into the office, and I was like, 'What's going on?' They said, 'You've been traded.' Two hours later I was in a Cubs uniform and signing papers."
Dore and his new teammates will face Eugene in the first game of their 76-game season Friday night. The Hawks, a short-season affiliate of the Cubs, play their home opener Monday night at Memorial Stadium.
Dore, who plays first and third base and two positions in the outfield, is expected to play in the three-game Eugene series, but not necessarily Friday night.
"It's a really fresh start for me," said Dore, who missed most of last season after tearing the labrum and rotator cuff in his left (non-throwing) shoulder. "I was sliding into second base, feet first. I got tagged hard up high, and my arm locked out and my shoulder popped out. So I'm just trying to stay healthy. I'm just trying to find my swing again, and I'm feeling good and confident at the plate."
He credits some of that confidence to time he's spent working with Hawks hitting coach and former former-league star Bill Buckner in extended spring training in Mesa, Ariz.
"Buck's the man," Dore said. "Buck's awesome, and it's just a privilege to be able to work with him. His baseball knowledge is through the roof."
Despite all that knowledge, Buckner has kept his message simple.
"He just needs to put the ball in play," Buckner said. "He's got plenty of bat speed, has some power. I like his makeup, but we've worked on some mechanical things. He's got to flatten his swing out and keep his bat in the hitting zone and some good things will happen."
After dealing with an injury for most of last season, Dore is ready for some positives on the diamond.
"I just want to make it through a season and show what I can do," said Dore, who had a .222 batting average and a .353 slugging percentage with the Padres' organization. "It's a clean slate here with the Cubs, and I'm blessed to have the opportunity. Not a lot of people get a second chance, so I'm going to take this opportunity and make the best of it."
That opportunity begins Friday.
"I've got to stick it to 'em, you know?" he said. "I'm sure there will be a little more adrenaline flowing, a little more edge to my game. It will be a fun series."
Chris Langrill: 377-6424