Leave the Gum, Take the Canela

Danny Canela reached base five times on a two-run home run, a two run double, a single, and two walks, Pin-Chieh Chen blasted a three-run home run and walked, Cael Brockmeyer reached base four times on two singles and two walks, stole two bases, and scored a run, Jeimer Candelario singled, walked twice, scored two runs, and drove-in another, and Starlin Castro belted a triple and an RBI double and scored a run, as the Daytona Cubs rallied to tie the Visalia Rawhide (Diamondbacks Hi-A affiliate) 9-9 on Field #6, and Jamie Westbrook hammered a three-run HR and Daniel Palka drilled a two-run HR, leading the South Bend Silver Hawks (AZ Lo-A affiliate) to a 12-3 drubbing of the Kane County Cougars (Cubs Lo-A affilate) on Field #3, in Cactus League Minor League doubleheader action this afternoon at the Under Armour Performance Center at Riverview Park in Mesa, AZ.

Bijan Rademacher reached base four times on a triple, two singles, and walk for KC in a losing cause. 

The 23-year old left-handed hitting Canela is presently assigned to the Kane County squad, but (probably because of his age and D-1 college experience) he began Minor League Camp as a catcher with the AA Tennessee squad. He was moved from catcher to 1st base during the course of Spring Training (he is a very rotund 5'10, perhaps weighing as much as 260 pounds), but the slugger was temporarily moved-up to the Daytona squad today because both Dan Vogelbach and Rock Shoulders (the D-Cubs two first-basemen) were absent.

Canela was Carlos Rodon's catcher at NC State in 2012, but then he had some undisclosed personal issues that resulted in his transferring to Lee University (an NAIA school in Tennessee) for his senior year. After he wasn't selected in the 2013 draft (and I have to ask why, because this dude has some serious HR power), he signed with the River City Rascals of the independent Frontier League where he hit a cool 360/455/582 with 12 HR and 14 doubles in 67 games. He led the league in hitting and was named the Frontier League's Rookie of the Year, before signing with the Cubs as a non-drafted free-agent (NDFA) last October. If he does indeed end up playing 1st base (and DH) at Kane County in 2014 (he is blocked by both Vogelbach and Shoulders at Daytona), Cougar fans (and Chicago Cub fans who go to Cougar games) are going to have loads of fun with this guy.

For us old-timers who remember Riverview Park in Chicago, Danny Canela playing baseball at Riverview Park in Mesa can't help but bring back memories of Dick "Two Ton" Baker and his "Laugh Your Troubles Away" Riverview Park TV commercials in the 1960's... so now it's Danny "Two-Ton" Canela?

Starlin Castro (hamstring injury rehab) played shortstop for seven innings and batted six times in the Daytona game. He flied out his first three times up, then after striking out swinging in his 4th PA in the 6th, he laced an RBI double off the right-centerfield fence in the 7th, and a one-out triple into the RF corner in the 8th. He appeared to be running the bases at full speed, showing no ill-effects from his hamstring injury. He also was solid in the field, making several fine defensive plays, including a heads-up 6-5 FC that caught a D'backs baserunner trying to take 3rd on a grounder to Castro's left. 

Since he will be a AA rotation starter, C. J. Edwards (who got the start for the Cubs in the MLB Cactus League game versus the San Diego Padres at Peoria last night) was inserted into the D-Cubs lineup to practice his bunting skills when such situations presented themselves. Edwards laid down three picture-perfect sac bunts in the bottom of the 1st, 5th, and 6th innings, but but then he struck out (bunted foul for strike three) his fourth time up in the 7th. So he was 75% successful.  

Starting for KC (although he is assigned to the Daytona squad), 21-year old South African RHP Tayler Scott (Cubs 2011 5th round pick out of Notre Dame HS in Scottsdale, AZ) had a very poor outing, allowing seven runs (all earned) on five hits (including two triples and a HR) and five walks in just three innings of work (81 pitches - only 40 strikes). RHP Scott Frazier (Cubs 2013 6th round pick out of Pepperdine University) worked the 8th inning for the Cougars and could not find the strike zone, allowing two runs on three walks and an HBP in just 2/3 of inning (26 pitches - only nine strikes). There are those in the Cubs organization who believe the 6'5 235 Frazier (known by some as as "Sasquatch") has the best pure stuff in the system, but he just could not find home plate today.   

24-year old Dominican RHP Felix Pena got the start for Daytona, working 4.2 IP and allowing two runs (earned) on three hits and a walk. He also struck out seven and got a ton of ground balls (6/1 GO/FO), at one point retiring 12 South Bend hitters in a row before tiring in the 5th. Signed by the Cubs five years ago, it's taken Pena a while to put things together, but he has been one of the surprises of 2014 Minor League Camp (so far). On the other side of the coin was 24-year old RHP Zack Godley (Cubs 2013 10th round pick out of the U. of Tennessee), who followed Pena to the hill and was absolutely crushed, allowing seven runs on eight hits (including three triples and two doubles) in 1.1 IP.   

Here are the abridged box scores from the two minor league games played at Riverview Park today (Cubs players only):  


1. Danny Lockhart, 2B: 1-4 (4-3, K, 1B, HBP, 5-4 FC, R, PO)
2. Carlos Panalver, SS: 1-5 (2B, K, 6-3, L-8, F-8, R, SB)
3. Kevin Brown, DH: 1-4 (L-7, 5-3, 4-3, 3B, BB, 2 RBI)
4. Jacob Rogers, 1B: 0-4 (BB, K, F-8, K, F-7)
5. Giuseppe Papaccio, RF: 1-4 (1B, F-8, 5-3, K, RBI)
6. Bijan Rademacher, LF: 3-3 (BB, 1B, 1B, 3B, SB)
7a. Mark Malave, C: 0-2 (K, K)
7b. Will Remillard, C: 0-2 (6-4 FC, 3-U)
8. Jordan Hankins, 3B: 0-3 (6-3, BB, F-8, 5-3)
9. Charcer Burks, CF: 1-3 (F-8, F-8, 1B, BB, R)  

1. Tayler Scott: 3.0 IP, 5 H, 7 R (7 ER), 5 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 2/5 GO/FO, 81 pitches (40 strikes)
2. James Pugliese: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K, 2/1 GO/FO, 32 pitches (23 strikes)
3. Michael Wagner: 2.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 6 K, 1 HR, 1 WP, 55 pitches (36 strikes)
4. Scott Frazier: 0.2 IP, 0 H, 2 R (2 ER), 3 BB, 0 K, 1 HBP, 1/1 GO/FO, 26 pitches (9 strikes)
5. Reinier Roibal: 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 11 pitches (6 strikes)

SS Carlos Penalver - E-6 (throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely) 

Mark Malave: 0-1 CS


X-1. Starlin Castro, SS-DH: 2-6 (F-8, F-9, F-8, K, 2B, 3B, R, RBI)
NOTE: Castro hit 3rd in bottom of the 1st, 2nd, 4th, and 6th innings, and 2nd in the bottom of the 7th & 8th innings) 
X-2. C. J. Edwards, DH #2: 0-1 (1-4 SH, 1-4 SH, 2-4 SH, K)
NOTE: Edwards hit 2nd in the bottom of the 1st, 5th, and 6th innings, and 4th in the bottom of the 7th inning) 
1a. Tim Saunders, DH #1: 1-3 (HBP, K, L-8, 1B, 2 R) 
1b. Marco Hernandez, SS: 0-1 (F-9)
2. Jeimer Candelario, 3B: 1-3 (1B, F-7, BB, BB, F-8, 2 R, RBI)
3. Danny Canela, 1B: 4-4 (1B, BB, HR, 2B, BB, R, 4 RBI, CS)
4. Yasiel Balaguert, RF: 1-5 (F-8, F-7, 1B, F-9, 4-6-3 DP, CS)
5. Jacob Hannemann, CF: 1-4 (F-7, 1B, K, 5-3)
6. Gioskar Amaya, 2B: 2-4 (1B, F-8, 1B, K, R)
7. Cael Brockmeyer, C: 2-2 (1B, BB, 1B, BB, R, 2 SB)
8. Pin-Chieh Chen, LF: 1-3 (HR, BB, 3-1, K, R, 3 RBI)
9b. Justin Marra, DH #3: 0-0 (BB)

1. Felix Pena: 4.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 7 K, 6/1 GO/FO, 60 pitches (38 strikes)
2. Zach Godley: 1.1 IP, 8 H, 7 R (7 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 2/1 GO/FO, 38 pitches (27 strikes)
3. Josh Davis: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 1 WP, 1/4 GO/FO, 22 pitches (15 strikes)
4. Andrew McKirahan: 1.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 2/1 GO/FO, 34 pitches (24 strikes)


Cael Brockmeyer: 0-2 CS  


d.canela's issues at NCSU weren't drug/alcohol or attitude related, fwiw.

he was running into a bit of a roadblock in his career going into 2013 with brett austin slated to take a majority of the C duties and canela seeing more time as a bat-only DH/backup catcher player. he also had conditioning issues with his weight, though it's obvious he didn't miss much upper body gym time.

unfortunately, he switched schools rather late in a baseball sense (which most likely limited his choices of transfer schools) and going to Lee University (out of NCAA Division 1 competition) didn't exactly help his draft stock. he went to indie ball and the cubs snagged him.

power and a good eye...never was much of a defensive C, though he's got experience and a decent arm (unfortunately his bulk didn't translate well into getting good throws with the arm coming out of the crouch)...1st/DH type most likely going forward...loves the game...not lazy even with conditioning/weight issues plaguing him for quite a while.

Best Godfather/Baseball reference EVER az Phil! Bravo.

Olt and Kalish on the team

Are the Cubs the youngest team in the majors?

Last year it was

5) Cards
4) Pirates
1) Astros

Guessing still Astros

so you're really good or really bad if you're young, intriguing...

Cubs have to be up there this year I'd think, old man Soriano and DeJesus gone. Only over 30's I see are Jose Veras and John Baker with a couple at age 30 (Jackson, Schierholtz, Villanueva). Figure though Marlins and Astros are gonna stay near the top.

This whole thing is reminding me a bit of the Blackhawks when the younger Wirtz started fixing the badness that was old man Wirtz. They built a good core of young players. I hope that happens here. It's looking good so far. I'm actually interested in this team. I can root for these guys cuz they're coming up through the system, or they are young enough that if they're good they should be around awhile (Olt, Rizzo). Winning a division through free agency is dead, if it ever was really alive. All the good young players are getting extended, and Miguel Cabrera just got sewn up for two more years. Is Eloy ready yet? Let's bring him up!

w.wright gives up back to back homers in the top 9th...both to lefties.

no doubters, fast balls crushed. ugh
Neal Ramirez came in and looked good to close

Ryan Roberts opts out of his deal with Cubs per Heyman. I don't think anyone expected him to get the last roster spot once Bonafiacio came on board and Olt wasn't going to AAA.


the cubs willingness to play boni at SS opens up an opportunity to trade d.barney at some point (especially once castro proves his health).

valbuena may not set the world on fire, but i wouldn't object to him taking over a majority of play at 2nd.

I'm going to miss the Donnie Murphy era.

I've got a bobble head to sell you...cheap.

I'll take two.

Az. Phil----Soler has not played in a minor league since 3/17---any word on what's going on?

CARMELO: Jorge Soler is on Limited Activity Only status, but he did take BP with the Tennessee squad Thursday morning. I don't know the nature of his injury or why he hasn't been able to play in games. 


Nats release Mike Fontenot. Reed Johnson is the only s-crappy player left in the league (RJ made the marlins 25 man roster).

He's my second-favorite recent Cub middle infielder whose last name ended in 'OT'.


also, rays sign fontenot to a minor league deal.

Neifi Perot?

BP mention on a bunch of relievers, last on the commentary was Jose Veras...


Jose Veras, Cubs
Second verse same as the first, with a slight alteration. Relievers are the ultimate wild card. The stop being effective or get hurt for odd reasons. Billy Koch thought that he had tendrils growing out of his fingertips once and well, that was that for his baseball career. Let’s take intellectual leaps and say Kimbrel isn’t saving as many games for whatever reason as he had in the past. That opens the door up quite a bit for the field and while Veras does play for a rebuilding squad I think it will also be a squad that will look to shop him heavily at the trade deadline. Once again, I believe in Veras’ ability, and I think he would look quite nice in high leverage situations for some team that’s suddenly found itself in a playoff chase sans a capital C closer. Enter Veras and his healthy strikeout rate and improving command. I think he'll do quite well as The Guy, wherever he is needed. —Mauricio Rubio

from the department of "there are teams worse off than the cubs"...

"Astros manager Bo Porter plans to hit Jose Altuve cleanup against right-handers this season."

Twitterverse says Reggie Golden has been released.

Heading to the showers.




(Na'u ka hau'oli)

(Na'u ka hau'oli)

go home haole!


new drug policy

80/162/lifetime ban

no playoffs or playoff share

more urine testing

player can try and prove PED was taken accidentally or not intended to enhance performance during arbitration process

League will provide safe supplements throughout the year

If you can cash in on a big contract, then I think it would probably be worth getting caught once.

This hurts teams much more (which I'm personally in favor of).

Does anyone know if teams can legally institute their own in-house drug testing?

Recent comments

The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • I know, man. What a season. 3rd best record in all of baseball, good enough to have won any division other than the one there in.

    With a win tomorrow, the Cubs will match their 2008 record. Bad omen, I know. If they do win, the most recent year in which the Cubs will have won more games would be 1945 (98-56), the last time they went to the World Series.

    I'll take that omen instead...

  • "oh yeah, and get the fuck off my lawn. :D"

    Ok, now that was funny. :)

  • KB 0-5 with 8 LOB. Really? He is torturing me with 99 RBI. He is also a very different hitter at home vs. road. I suspect most young hitters are.

  • Greinke still in for the 8th. 3 up, 3 down. After 8. 108 pitches, ERA still at 1.66 according to mlb boxscore and he's in line for a 19th win.

  • Greinke 95 pitches through 7. Gives up one run (solo HR to Hedges). ERA at 1.66. Doubt that they will let him give up 5 runs in the 8th.

    Dodgers ahead 2-1.

  • 96 wins with one game to go. Who woulda thunk it.

    Cubs 96 wins have clinched a better record than any AL team and the NL West/East division winners too.

  • cubs win, pirates lose...

  • the curse is now yours.

  • cog a HR away from the cycle after a single in the 6th.

  • Hendricks: 15 up, 15 down.

  • he strongly separates his post-playing career from his playing career, though he loves to visit the barrier of player and fan. many ex-players don't put up this barrier.

    he's not interested in going back to the clubhouse or pretty much anything field/game related, but he'll grab a ticket and observe with the fans and visit ex players on "neutral" ground. he's written 3 pieces for the new yorker and other pieces elsewhere. i remember one photo/bio piece he did, but don't remember where i read it (years ago).

  • ?
    I find your comments rather obtuse. He recognized he didn't want to pursue baseball anymore and went back to school to learn how to become a better writer - opening up a new chapter in his life.

    I don't know where you find a "sad disconnection" because he is writing about his experiences? He pursued a ball career for a long time so no doubt there is some meloncholy in his tone, but I just don't know what the fuck you are talking about.

  • he has an almost sad disconnection from the game based on his writings. even though he's "been there" (no matter how much of a minor role) he doesn't seem to feel like he belongs or deserves to belong in the boy's club.

    he seems to go to great lengths to enjoy the game from an arm's length while occasionally getting close enough for a high-5 from those who affirm him that he belongs.

  • I read that guy's article about why he quit baseball and it was really well done too. In terms of Rizzo, I have seen multiple references to how this is Rizzo's team just as much as Madden's and it makes that pick up that much better that we have someone that is not only a great player but a leader and all around great guy (been reading about all the charity work he does too). There is really nothing not to like about Rizzo.

  • Nice article on Rizzo

    Written by ex teammate


  • JD concurred with Ariettas second at bat