Minor League Profile of the Week: Jeimer Candelario
The Chicago Cubs continue to develop Jeimer Candelario, first signed in 2010 as a free agent. MLB.com ranks the 22-year-old switch-hitter as Chicago’s #4 prospect.
He started the 2016 season with Triple-A Tennessee Smokeys. In 56 games with Tennessee, his slash line of .219/.324/.367. A mid-season change of scenery to AAA Iowa for 76 games saw his slash improve to .333/.417/.542. He got a cup of coffee with Chicago, and struggled with major league pitching, going 1 for 11.
His 2017 season has started out well, currently leading the minors in RBI with 15. He’s showing a lot of emphasis as a guy getting on base, and hitting in the clutch with runners on.
Iowa lists him as a third-baseman. Baseball Prospectus and Fangraphs.com rate his defense ability below average for a third baseman. They cite his lack of lateral quickness for this rating. Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com reports Candelario is taking reps at both first and third to improve his lot to the majors. Yet, playing either 1B or 3B, puts him behind Cubs corner infielders Rizzo and Bryant. Rizzo is under contract until 2021. Bryant is due for a contract at the end of this season, but I don’t see Chicago letting him go. I do not see Candelario getting a long-term hitch in the majors as a corner infielder for the Cubs anytime soon. Not being behind the current National League MVP (Bryant) and the fourth in the voting (Rizzo).
The Cubs are currently stacked, so breaking in as an everyday player is going to be difficult. He is on the 40-man roster, so he may get a cup of coffee here and there to spell star players.
A more likely direction would be for the Cubs to move him for a piece needed during a late season or playoff run. If he gets hot at the right time, and gets the right opportunity, he could develop a career in the majors. Else, he could be a long-term farmhand who gets late season call-ups with the 40 man roster. A player to watch, nonetheless.
Tim Tebow Watch
Metric of the Week: OPS
- On 4/9/17, Mike Muchlinski ejected CF Kevin Kiermaier of the Tampa Bay Rays for arguing a a called third strike. Replay showed that the pitch was low, but balls and strikes are not reviewable.
- On 4/10/17, Alan Portery tossed Philidelphia Manager Pete Mackanin for unsportsman-like conduct.
- On 4/14/17, Mike Everitt ejected Rockies Manager Bud Black for arguing balk no calls against Jonny Cueto.
Other Up and Down Moves
- Colorado sign left-handed pitcher Steve Ascher to a minor league contract.
- Oakland select the contract of outfielder Jaff Decker from AAA Nashville Sounds, option OF Mark Canha to AAA, and place OF Jake Smolinski on the 60 day DL)
- Houston 19-year old pitcher Lupe Chavez has retired for unannounced reasons.
- Tampa Bay recalls RHP Chase Whitley to fill in while RHP Jake Odorizzi is on the 10-day DL with a strained left hamstring.
- Texas activated RHP Andrew Cashner from the 10-day DL, optioned RHP Nick Martinez to AAA Roundrock and outright RHP Tanner Scheppers to AAA.
- Detroit optioned William Cuevas to AAA Toledo and promote Warwick Saupold.
- Miami calls up LHP Jarlin Garcia. RHP Nick Wittgren is optioned down.
- NY Mets call up LHP Sean Gilmartin from AAA, option TJ Rivera down for a short stay until the bullpen gets set again.
- Atlanta called up RHP Luke Jackson and optioned RHP Jason Hursh.
- Cleveland activated RHP Nick Goody and optioned RHP Shawn Armstrong down.
Dan Rooney passed away earlier this week. As the chairman of the Pittsburgh Steelers, he built a dynasty. He also fought the idea of raising the cost of tickets to Steelers’ home games so his fans could afford to come. He also served as ambassador to Ireland from 2009 to 2012. He will be missed. He was 84.