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):
KANE COUNTY LINEUP:
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)
KANE COUNTY PITCHERS:
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)
KANE COUNTY ERRORS: 1
SS Carlos Penalver - E-6 (throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely)
KANE COUNTY CATCHERS DEFENSE:
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)
9a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST THREE TIMES THRU BATTING ORDER
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)
DAYTONA ERRORS: NONE
DAYTONA CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Cael Brockmeyer: 0-2 CS
HAGSAG: I have not seen Joe Nathan out on the field, but he is supposedly at the UAPC.
ERIC S: Best outing I've ever seen from Manny Rondon, and I've seen most of his outings since the Cubs got him from the Angels.
M. Rondon is competing with six others (Dylan Cease, Bryan Hudson, Jose Paulino, Pedro Silverio, Jesus Castillo, and Erling Moreno) for a starting slot at Eugene, and (as you can probably tell from the EXST box scores) the competition has gotten fierce over the last couple of weeks, With the exception of Moreno, the Eugene SP candidates have upped their game lately, and M. Rondon's outing yesterday was especially impressive/dominating.
E-MAN: Pierce Johnsion was mixing a 92-94 MPH fastball with a plus-change-up AND curve, and he threw strike-after-strike-after-strike with all three of his pitches. I believe that was the best command and pitch-efficiency I've ever seen from Johnson, who often pitches from behind in the count and issues too many walks.
Of course now he has to avoid a recurrence of the lat strain (whch he has had previously in his career) as well as all of the other miscellaneous physical problems he's had over the last three years (hamstring, quad, back, etc).
PHIL: Any movement on P. Johnsons pitches? What was his "out" pitch? I know he was working on a 4th pitch, so wondering what he is looking like these days. Thanks.
AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.
Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!
Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.
With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.
it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.
It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.
Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.
That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.
I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.
Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...
These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.
No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.
a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...
it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...
Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.
Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.
Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.
soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.
he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that close...one he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.