Results tagged ‘ Arismendy Alcantara ’
The Cubs’ offseason goals were to upgrade their roster by finding players, preferably left-handed hitters, who can get on base, and they most likely completed the makeover on Monday with the addition of Dexter Fowler. The Cubs dealt infielder Luis Valbuena and right-handed pitcher Dan Straily to the Astros for Fowler, 28, expected to fill the leadoff spot. The switch-hitter has a career .366 on-base percentage over seven seasons, primarily with the Rockies. He was traded to the Astros on Dec. 3 with a player to be named later for Brandon Barnes and Jordan Lyles.
Fowler will be reunited with hitting coach John Mallee, who was with the Astros last season, and now has that job with the Cubs. Mallee recommended the outfielder.
“The biggest thing John kept saying to us is, ‘This guy really puts on an at-bat … he sees pitches, he gets on base,'” Cubs GM Jed Hoyer said Monday.
That’s something the Cubs haven’t had. They ranked 13th in the National League in on-base percentage. Fowler, Miguel Montero and Tommy La Stella are three left-handed hitters the Cubs added who they hope will get on base and extend the lineup.
Arismendy Alcantara played the most center field last season but had to learn about the outfield on the job after coming up in the Cubs system as an infielder. He may become manager Joe Maddon’s Cubs version of Ben Zobrist — a versatile player who can fill in everywhere.
“Joe’s been a part of a lot of our meetings about the team, and Alcantara, for one, brings a smile to his face every time because he’s exactly the kind of player he loves,” Hoyer said of the 23-year-old switch-hitter. “He can play all over the field, he can run the bases, he’s a good defender, he’s got good power. He’s an exciting piece who you can move around.”
— Carrie Muskat
Christian Villanueva went 2-for-4 Tuesday, hitting a solo home run in the first inning in Obregon’s 7-1 loss to Jalisco in Mexico. It was Villanueva’s 10th home run this winter.
In Puerto Rico, Javier Baez played a doubleheader on Tuesday. In the first game, he went 0-for-2 with a walk and two strikeouts as Santurce beat San Juan, 3-1, in seven innings. Baez was 1-for-7 in the second game, which San Juan won, 3-2, in 14 innings. Baez hit a RBI double and struck out three times. He’s batting .286 in Puerto Rico. Santurce is off until Friday.
* An update on some of the other Cubs playing winter ball:
Luis Valbuena: .230 with four doubles, four homers, 12 RBIs in 17 games for Lara in Venezuela
Arismendy Alcantara: .324 with one double, one triple, four homers, eight RBIs in 19 games for Licey in Dominican Republic
Luis Valbuena hit a two-run homer in the sixth inning Friday to help Lara beat Caracas, 5-4, in Venezuelan winter league play. It was Valbuena’s fifth game, and he’s batting .211 so far.
Junior Lake hit a double and drove in two runs in Estrellas’ 3-1 win over Aguilas in the Dominican Republic.
Arismendy Alcantara hit a home run, his third, in Licey’s 3-0 win over Toros in the Dominican. Alcantara is batting .326 this winter.
John Andreoli hit a double in San Juan’s 8-2 loss to Mayaguez in Puerto Rico.
Christian Villanueva was 4-for-4, including a grand slam, for Obregon in a 16-7 loss Tuesday night to Culiacan in Mexico Winter League play. The third baseman was batting .273 with six home runs.
Arismendy Alcantara was 2-for-5 with a double in Licey’s 5-3 win over Aguilas in the Dominican Republic. Alcantara is batting .325 this winter.
In Puerto Rico, John Andreoli was 2-for-4 with a solo home run and scored two runs in the Senadores 6-2 win over Carolina.
Christian Villanueva went 2-for-5 in Obregon’s 7-3 loss Friday to Los Mochis in Mexican winter ball. Villanueva is batting .254.
Junior Lake drew two walks and scored a run in Estrellas’ 2-1 win Friday over Licey in the Dominican Republic. Lake is batting .241. Arismendy Alcantara was 0-for-3 for Licey in the game, and is batting .235 this winter. He’s been playing both center field and second base.
Manny Ramirez is playing for Aguilas in the DR, and batting .289 in 22 games with four home runs and 18 RBIs.
On a side note, former Cubs prospects Brooks Raley and Austin Bibens-Dirkx squared off in the Dominican. Neither got a decision. Bibens-Dirkx gave up one run on four hits over five innings for Toros del Este, while Raley gave up one run on eight hits and two walks for Gigantes del Cibao. Bibens-Dirkx is now in the Blue Jays organization, and Raley is in the Angels’ system.
Jonathan Mota was 1-for-3 with a double and scored a run for Senadores while John Andreoli was 0-for-5 in a 3-2 loss to Caguas in Puerto Rico. Mota was batting .250, while Andreoli was hitting .224 in winter ball.
* Anthony Rizzo did not start Tuesday as part of the Cubs’ plan to ease him back into games while Arismendy Alcantara was sidelined with a sore right wrist injured when he crashed into the outfield wall Monday night. Alcantara’s status was day to day.
Rizzo, who had been sidelined since Aug. 26 because of a low back strain, made his first start in 18 games on Monday night
and hit a walk-off home run in the ninth. The Cubs had considered having Rizzo only play seven innings Monday since it was his first game action in 18 games, but went ahead and had him stay for nine. It worked.
“I would say I plan on giving him every other day [off] and will increase his playing time to two days in a row, maybe three,” Cubs manager Rick Renteria said. “I have to let it play itself out first.”
* Alcantara had an MRI on his right wrist and was wearing a brace on Tuesday. He slammed into the brick wall in right center catching Kristopher Negron’s ball in the eighth inning. The Reds had a runner on and two out, and there was no score in the game.
“Somebody was saying somebody forgot to tell him there’s a brick wall behind the ivy,” Renteria said of Alcantara. “That’s a game-saving play. He gave tremendous effort, [ran a] great line, very smooth, explosive action and got to it and was able to make the catch.”
It was an exceptional play for Alcantara who has primarily played in the infield.
“His immersion into center field was a pretty easy transition, in terms of chasing balls down, reading balls off the bat,” Renteria said. “He’s continued to learn where to throw the ball, how aggressive to be with certain plays. He’s continued to improve. That’s a testament to him because he’s taken on a lot.”
* Edwin Jackson, sidelined with a strained right lat, will make his first start since Aug. 20 on Friday when the Cubs play host to the Dodgers at Wrigley Field. Jackson threw an extended side session as a tune-up. Rookie Eric Jokisch will be available to piggyback because Jackson was not expected to go deep in the game.
— Carrie Muskat
Arismendy Alcantara was not in the Cubs lineup Tuesday because of a sore right wrist injured when he crashed into the outfield wall in the eighth inning Monday night. Alcantara was wearing a wrap on his wrist after the game, and said it was “just to be careful.” He did know it’s not wise to mess with the wall at Wrigley Field.
“I do know [it’s brick] because I hit it before,” he said.
— Carrie Muskat
Arismendy Alcantara, Tsuyoshi Wada and Blake Parker named to the 2014 All-PCL team today, as announced by the Pacific Coast League. It’s the first time the Iowa Cubs have had three players named to the post-season All-Star team.
Alcantara batted .307 (103-for-335) with 25 doubles, 11 triples, 10 home runs, 41 RBI, and 21 stolen bases in 89 games with Iowa before he was called up to the Cubs on July 9. At the time of his promotion, he was leading the PCL in triples and extra-base hits (46). His 11 triples are still tops in the league.
Wada was named as the top left-handed starter in the league this year. In 19 games, including 18 starts with Iowa, Wada was 10-6 with a 2.77 ERA. He gave up 104 hits, walked 28, and struck out 120. At the time of his promotion, Wada led the PCL in strikeouts, was fourth in ERA, fifth in WHIP (1.16), and tied for sixth in innings pitched. In eight starts with the Cubs, Wada is 4-1 with a 2.56 ERA (13ER/45 2/3 IP).
Parker is 0-1 with a 1.91 ERA (7ER/33 IP) and leads the PCL with 23 saves in 33 games with Iowa this year. He ranks fifth in the league with 30 games finished. Parker has been called up to Chicago five times during the year and is 1-1 with a 6.08 ERA (9ER/13 1/3 IP) in 10 big league appearances. His 23 saves are second on Iowa’s single-season list and he is the franchise’s all-time leader with 64 career saves.
* In his first career start against the Orioles, Tsuyoshi Wada took a no-hitter into the seventh inning before Steve Pearce connected for a lead off solo home run. Wada struck out a career-high eight batters. He gave up one earned run on one hit over 7 1/3 innings. Wada also picked up his first ML hit with the first hit of the day for either team, a swinging bunt single in the third inning. With three scoreless innings to start the game, Wada has posted a 1.13 ERA (3 ER/24 IP) through the first three innings of his eight starts this season.
* The Cubs starting lineup featured five rookies (Javier Baez, Arismendy Alcantara, Logan Watkins, Matt Szczur, and Tsuyoshi Wada) for the first time since Oct. 3, 2012 against Houston at Wrigley Field. The Cubs last started five rookies before rosters expand on Sept. 1 in the second game of a doubleheader on Aug. 18, 2012, in Cincinnati (Steve Clevenger, Anthony Rizzo, Adrian Cardenas, Brett Jackson, and Brooks Raley).
* Cubs pitching held the Orioles to just one hit Sunday. The last time the Cubs held their opponents to one hit was June 13, 2010 vs. the White Sox (1-0 Cubs victory).
* Chris Coghlan is batting .306 (19-for-62) when leading off an inning that isn’t the first.
* Arismendy Alcantara hit a solo home run in the fifth. He has multiple hits and a stolen base in each of his last two games, and seven hits in his last four games (.438/7-for-16).
* Anthony Rizzo hit a RBI double, and leads the Cubs with 52 extra-base hits and 70 RBI. Rizzo has hit safely in eight of his last nine games at Wrigley Field, going 11-for-32 (.344) during the stretch.
* With the win, the Cubs completed their third sweep of the season, and first since June 30-July 2 in Boston.
Mets manager Terry Collins saw Javier Baez during the Cubs exhibition games in Las Vegas this spring. Collins was impressed.
“Big-time power,” Collins said of Baez. “Big, big-time power. Real aggressive at the plate. Right now, probably the wisest thing is to keep the ball out of the middle because he’s got four homers in nine games, and it shows you what kind of power he’s got, and we saw that out there [in Las Vegas]. So you have to make sure you make some pitches against him.”
Collins, meeting with the New York media before Friday’s game, said the Cubs’ youngsters are very athletic.
“You look at them, start with [Junior] Lake,” Collins said. “We haven’t seen a lot of Baez except for seeing him play the infield. We know he can hit. [Arismendy] Alcantara, this guy was an infielder, they put him in center field — you talk about being athletic. He’s got a plus-arm, they stuck him in center field, he’s a switch-hitter. They’re really athletic. And I really believe that’s how you re-tool. You take those guys that are a little bit versatile and can do a lot of things for you — can run, can throw. The hitting, the hitting for power is all part of the experience side. We were just commenting today when we were going over the video of some of those guys, and boy, they’ve got some athletic people coming up.”
— Carrie Muskat