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

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  • I think that if a team objects to the 1-game wildcard playin game so much, they could just win the pennant and avoid themselves the trouble.

  • Per Jesse Sanchez at mlb.com, Cubs reportedly have signed 20-year old Cuban OF Eddy Julio Martinez for $3M bonus. 

  • BLOCK: Of course any advantage is an advantage. An MLB, NBA, or NHL team getting the extra game at home in a seven game series is an advantage, I just don't think it is enough of an advantage for winning a division and/or having the best record in a conference or league over the course of an 82-game season (NBA and NHL) or 162 game series (MLB).

  • TEX takes the opening game from TOR (@TOR) 5-3.

    TOR lost bautista + donaldson in-game due to injuries...TEX lost beltre...dunno if any will be lingering issues leading to missed games.

  • Ride the Kid Magic! Schwarber hadn't homered in a long time before last night.

  • Greg Maddux was 8-18 in his rookie season. Kyle has the 8 wins down pat.

    Think Baby Maddux.

    Prof. Harold Hill's THINK system at work.


    Kyle is on the far left.

  • I support this. Hendricks has not only looked better lately but seems to start struggling after a few innings which is better than the 1st in the playoffs.

  • Just tweeted via Jesse Rogers: Hendricks starting Game 2. Wow. Just wow.

  • That was good!

  • Well said. On one hand, I thought the HBP was a bad baseball play -- down 4 runs, put a runner on for a red-hot Fowler. On the other hand, they needed to do something -- I hadn't thought about the warning/pitching inside point. Is Hurdle that smart? He does not strike me that way. By the way -- not clear which fan base you are referring to in your "first" 3rd point.

  • My unsolicited opinions on topics covered in this thread:
    1. I hate the fact that after 162 games, a team could be out after 1 game. However, I think the system is pretty close to perfect right now. 2 of 3 isn't feasible unless they shorten the regular season, and it ices the division winners for way too long. This creates excitement, and rewards the division winners.

  • Personally, I think the game could have had a very different look had the Pirates held onto the ball and tagged Fowler out on the steal in the first. Cole was clearly frazzled, but if they took that runner off the base, it could have relaxed him a lot.

  • Football games are played once a week. There are 16 games a year. I'm not even remotely following at all how you can compare the two leagues and playoff systems. It is physically impossible to play a home and away series. The idea of not having any road games in baseball playoffs is certainly a head scratcher.

    How is not having the first and last game at home a benefit for the division winners and team with the best record? How is it not an incentive to win the division when a WC team has to blow their top pitcher?

    Call me lost.

  • Two 97+ win teams in a do-or-die, great bullpens, overpowering starters, plenty of pop--hard to believe that game wouldn't be tense. A 4-0 lead is not a blowout, especially in that situation and with the Cubs' young bullpen. Not only would a defensive play here or there make a difference, but you get the win there also on the home plate umps strike zone (generous strike calls for Arrieta, including a couple Ks), and on Schwarber sitting on the right pitch at the right time.

  • Unbeleivable Dodgers:
    I just noticed the Dodger's payroll today. It is just absurd. $300,000,000+!!
    Here is where just some of their money is for 2015:


    Some "Highlights"
    Carl Crawford $20MM
    Brandon McCarthy $17MM
    Bronson Arroyo $3.5MM
    Darwin B $2.2MM
    Dan Haren $10MM
    Matt Kemp $18MM
    Brian Wilson $10MM
    Ryan Webb $2.2MM
    Dee Gordon $2.5MM

  • So I think tomorrow will be the most important test of how far we can go. We can win it all with two pitchers since Arietta has shown he can carry over his success to the post season. If Lester can be dominant also then I think we can go far no matter how Hendricks or Hammel do.


    And in terms of pitching just went through to see how we could maximize Lester and Arietta and came up with this (Lester would be going on 4 days rest three times and Arietta twice):