Thursday, June 13, 2024

Prospect’s Bizarre Time with Cubs Ends, Pitcher DFA’d


The Chicago Cubs called up 23-year-old prospect Alexander Canario on Sept. 1, and in 11 games played by the team, the right-handed slugger was given exactly one plate appearance before being optioned back down to Triple-A on Monday.

I understand the reasoning as to why Canario wasn’t used during his brief cup of coffee in the majors, but I cannot grasp the thought process behind his promotion to the big leagues if this was the plan all along. On Monday, the Cubs called up Pete Crow-Armstrong, who replaced Canario on the team’s 28-man roster.

Prior to his September call up, Canario last started at Triple-A with the Iowa Cubs on Aug. 30. His next plate appearance came on Sept. 6, a pinch-hit at-bat in the eighth inning against San Francisco Giants closer Camilo Doval. Canario struck out swinging on a 3-2 fastball.

I mean, there were definitely chances to get Canario a few plate appearances. The Cubs played a double header against the Cincinnati Reds when Canario was first called up and during this time on the active roster guys like Mike Tauchman and Christopher Morel were both struggling.

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The baffling thing, though, is that Canario missed the majority of the 2023 season, returning until June after recovering from two separate surgeries to repair his shoulder and ankle that were both injured during a game in Winter Ball in October 2022. You would think the Cubs would want him to get as much playing time as possible after missing multiple months to start the year. Canario’s played in 53 minor league games so far this season.

Plus, after his long layoff and getting back into a rhythm, Canario was finally looking like himself at the plate. During the month of August, Canario had a slash line of .305/.356/.632, with 7 home runs in 104 plate appearances. And then he got called up to sit on the bench for almost two weeks.

I don’t know, it just doesn’t make sense to me.

At least Canario will now get every-day at-bats to end the season at Triple-A.

Meanwhile, the Cubs also made another roster move, needing to make space on the 40-man roster for PCA. The team designated left-handed reliever Anthony Kay for assignment.

The Cubs claimed Kay off waivers from the Toronto Blue Jays last offseason. The lefty competed for a bullpen spot in spring training and ultimately began the regular season in Triple-A. Kay was called up in June and made 13 relief appearances before he was optioned back down to the Iowa Cubs in August. He was fine in his first 10 appearances, posting a 1.13 ERA in 8 innings of work, but then 7 earned runs in his next 3.1 innings made his ERA balloon up to 6.35.

In 30 games at Triple-A, Kay posted a 4.10 ERA in 37.1 innings.

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