Prospect Candelario cheers on neighbor Cueto
MESA, Ariz. -- The Cubs will have a tough time rooting for the Mets in the World Series after New York ousted Chicago in four games in the National League Championship Series. But Cubs prospect Jeimer Candelario is cheering for Royals pitcher Johnny Cueto. The two live about five minutes from each other in San Pedro de Macoris in the Dominican Republic, and they play softball together.
Softball? Cueto doesn't pitch in the games, Candelario said Tuesday.
"He likes hitting," said Candelario, who is playing for the Mesa Solar Sox in the Arizona Fall League.
Royals starters Cueto, Edinson Volquez and Yordano Ventura are all from the D.R., and this is believed to be the first time three pitchers from the same foreign country will start World Series games.
"I feel good about that," Candelario said of his countrymen's presence. "Because of all the hard work they did in the season, it helped them. I think they'll do whatever they can to win a game."
Candelario, 21, a third baseman who batted .291 at Double-A Tennessee in 2015, said Cueto is involved in charity events in San Pedro. That's when they play their softball games.
"We used to have fun playing softball," Candelario said. "He's a good guy -- he likes to participate in a lot of things with kids."
Former Cubs manager Dale Sveum is on Kansas City's staff as the hitting coach, giving the Chicago players one more person to cheer for. Candelario said he'll be watching the Dominican pitchers.
"They have some good pitchers," Candelario said of the Royals, "and I think they'll do the best they can to win the World Series."