Arismendy Alcantara, Kyle Hendricks, Tsuyoshi Wada and Blake Parker Named to PCL All-Star Team

For the first time, the Iowa Cubs will be represented by four players at the Triple-A All-Star Game. INF/OF Arismendy Alcantara, RHP Kyle Hendricks, LHP Tsuyoshi Wada and RHP Blake Parker were named Pacific Coast League All-Stars Thursday and will represent the Cubs in Durham on July 16.

Arismendy Alcantara will start at second base of the PCL All-Stars.

Kyle Hendricks and Tsuyoshi Wada have put together good seasons for Iowa, but neither pitcher will start the game. The Sounds’ Jimmy Nelson (Brewers) was named the starter for the PCL All-Star squad.

PrintKyle Hendricks is tied with Jimmy Nelson for the most wins in the PCL. Hendricks is third in the league in innings pitched (100 2/3), fourth in the league in strikeouts (93) and tied with teammate Tsuyoshi Wada for fifth in the league in WHIP (1.17). Hendricks has been named to an All-Star team in each of his last three seasons. Hendricks was on the Carolina League All-Star team in 2012 and was a Southern League All-Star last year, his first full year in the Cubs’ system.

For the season, Kyle Hendricks is 10-5 in 16 starts with a 3.58 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP (95 hits allowed, 23 walks).

LHP Tsuyoshi Wada is 9-4 in 16 starts with a 2.55 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP this season and there is a very good chance he makes his big league debut Tuesday in one of the two games in Cincinnati. In 99 innings, Wada has given up 91 hits with 25 walks and 101 strikeouts. And the 101 strikeouts are good enough for second in the league. Wada is third in the PCL in wins, fourth in the league in ERA (2.55) and tied for fifth in the league in WHIP (1.17). Wada was a four-time All-Star in Japan and is healthy enough for the first time to make an All-Star roster in the United States.

RHP Blake Parker has thrown strikes and closed games for Iowa in between trips to Chicago. Parker blew his first save of the season earlier this week and has 18 saves in 25 games this year. Parker has allowed five runs, four earned, on 21 hits with nine walks and 34 strikeouts in 25 innings (1.44 ERA, 1.20 WHIP).

Arismendy Alcantara has played his way into the conversation of the top prospects in the Cubs system. The 22-year old Alcantara is putting up big numbers in the hitter-friendly PCL, but his peripheral numbers are not much different from what he did in the Southern League last year.

Arismendy Alcantara is hitting .310/.350/.546 in 83 games this season with 22 doubles, 11 triples, 10 home runs and 20 stolen bases with a .896 OPS.

Iowa Cubs broadcaster, Deene Ehlis will be part of the radio broadcast and Baseball America’s John Manuel will help call the game on the MLB Network.

All four players representing the Iowa Cubs in the Triple-A All-Star Game have a very good chance of finishing the season with the big league team. Three of the four players are on the Cubs’ 40-man roster (Arismendy Alcantara, Tsuyoshi Wada and Blake Parker) which means a September call up at the latest and Kyle Hendricks, who has to be added to the 40-man roster this winter, could make his big league debut once the trading season is over.

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  • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

    I know many don’t think highly of Wada. Is that just because of ST? That seems like a small sample size to discount how well he has done in Iowa. Tom or Neil, what do you think of him and his MLB projections?

    • jtrain23

      I’m not Tom or Neil, but I would say his age keeps him out of the same conversation as other Cubs’ prospects. I think he could be a positive addition to the team if his AAA success carries over, but he is currently 33 years old and only has 6 major league appearances under his belt. Also, even though that is a tiny sample size, he has been very ineffective in those 6 appearances.

      I am with you in that I have noticed his success this year in Iowa. I hope he could provide some quality this year, especially is we lose Hammels and/or Samardzija, but I don’t know that he is a “prospect” at this point.

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        When you have a chance, could you post a link on Wada’s appearances in the majors in a regular season game. His page on Baseball Reference and MLB.com do not show any. Thank you for taking the time and the help.

        • jtrain23

          I see that. I knew that I read that information somewhere, and I could’ve sworn it was on Baseball Reference, but I suppose not. It is included on his bio on the Cubs website.
          http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/team/player.jsp?player_id=493159

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            I appreciate you taking the time to look that up. To the best of my knowledge he has not pitched in the majors. I wanted to make sure before his start on Tuesday. Everyone makes mistakes, believe me I know, and it was probably just a mistake on the Cubs page.

          • jtrain23

            Let me correct my own error. I glanced at the profile and it said MLB level. It was also two different years, which was odd because I had no clue about 2012, but I knew he hadn’t pitched in 4 games this year. It is his Spring Training line. The way it is listed is a bit misleading, but is also misread…

        • jtrain23

          For some reason that link will not take you to the page. It is listed on his bio on cubs.com though. It is weird that it is listed there but not on Baseball Reference. When the link wouldn’t work, I looked on high CBS Sports profile and it didn’t show anything there either.

    • Tom U

      As far as I’m concerned, Wada was an above average sign as a mid season replacement for the rotation following a trade.

      It would be a great strategy for management to aggressively push up one the prospects (Beeler, Hendricks, Rusin, or Jokisch) and deal Wada after a few major league starts while his value is still high.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      It is hard to know how he will pitch in the Majors, he has not been healthy enough to do so over the past two years. Wada has pitched well in the PCL, which is a good sign. With that said, I remember big league hitters squaring him up pretty good in Spring Training.

  • Brp921

    Wow four triple A all stars and our two best prospects are on the same team. When is the last time that happened? We’re getting closer to seeing good baseball in Wrigleyville!

    • Tom U

      Presently, the system has had 18 All-Stars with the Northwest League to name theirs later this summer.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Speaking of calling up Wada…

    You’ll notice they are not starting Carlos Villanueva in that game. The FO must not have the confidence in his ability to put up a QS and “add trade value.”

    Meanwhile the Cubs are 29th in MLB in BA and OBP. Yet the Cubs have been winning. It’s the pitching. We were 25th in MLB for runs scored in June, but our pitching was #4 in MLB in runs allowed (fewest). Specifically our starters have shined—and remember, Edwin Jackson is on our starting staff, and let’s admit it–Travis Wood has returned to being Travis Wood. He’s not having the same year he had in 2013. We are only 17th in QS in MLB.

    Looking at the roster…who to remove off of it to call up Arismendy Alcantara….let’s examine the candidates:

    Sweeney: although he’s hitting only .207/.252./.243, he’s making too much money to dump since he has a guaranteed contract for 2015. He’s not going anywhere.

    Schierholtz: .207/.257/.328 and a big contract for 2014. The Cubs are not about to dump that money. He’s probably untradable as well, so I think he stays.

    Olt: no. .150/.229/.371 isn’t very good, but he is problem to deal with. Too young to release. AAA is too booked to send him down and taking playing time at 1B away from Manny. Can’t play 2B at AAA in Arismendy Alcantara’s place. He stays.

    Coghlan: .209/.285/.336. Outslugs both Sweeney and Schierholtz. But his contract is small enough to eat. He could go.

    Lake: the league has caught up to Junior. Up to now he at least hit with some power. .228/.257/.401 slash line beats any of the other OFs listed. But he makes chump change in comparison. He could go down to AAA.

    Barney: they’ll never release him–big contracts help one keep a roster spot. And Boston pitching was good to him: incredibly, he’s hitting .214 now.

    Pitchers: we are carrying too many in the bullpen, imo.

    Rondon, Villanueva, Russell,Wright, Grimm, Ramirez, Schlitter, Strop. With our five starters, that’s 13 pitchers. Among those with the lowest cost contracts, Grimm has the worst record. Ramirez could be sent down to stretch him out to start games–but imo that would be a mistake. Villanueva deserves to go but his huge contract protects his spot.

    Answer: Arismendy Alcantara won’t be called up until after the trade deadline, and then the most likely to go is…….

    Lake to AAA.

    • Tony_H

      You should have also noticed that they didn’t use Villanueva last week, when they called up Beeler. Nothing to do with trade value, but he is not stretched out enough and let’s face it, has proven he is not that good as a starter.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Double “yup.”

    • Tony_H

      Your logic is flawed.

      Sweeney and Schierholtz you say money will keep them on the team, yet they cut Veras and he had more owed than either of them.

      Coghlan is under control for 2 more years and been more productive than both Sweeney and Schierholtz.

      Olt and Lake could be sent to Iowa if needed and would

      Barney will not be cut.

      None of these players will money be the reason.

      But Alcantara will be called up when one is traded and if they have to cut someone because none of these guys got added into a trade with Hammel or Samardzija or they don’t choose to send down Olt or Lake until Sept 1, then they will cut Sweeney. He has been the least effective player.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Time will tell how flawed it is. I don’t see Sweeney and his 2015 contract leaving.

        • Tony_H

          They walked away from Veras paid his buyout. His walking amount with buyout was about $2.7M

          Schierholtz is owed $2.5M.

          Sweeney is owed $2.75M.

          Not a big difference. I don’t think they will cut either one, as I think they will be throw-ins in a trade where the Cubs send a check to cover the cost. But I don’t think these small amounts will be the reason for the decision. Sweeney being under control is what will likely save him over Schierholtz if it comes down to it.

          I also wouldn’t be surprised if the Cubs pass Sweeney through waivers in August (all players go through this), and if a team claims him they let them take him. And for the little bit of money owed to him and the chance he could help a team needing a LH OF bat, I think he will be claimed.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Waivers? Yes. Definitely.

            Being claimed? Not in my world. What potential playoff team needs Sweeney? Well, if an injury pops up, perhaps, maybe, possibly, in some manner, perchance, conceivably, peradventure, in some small way, some GM somewhere, for whatever reason, could take a waiver claim on Sweeney. Even then it is doubtful.

            Otherwise I think Team Theo is the only GM in the world wanting him on their ML club.

          • Ripsnorter1

            But then, don’t forget: Koyie Hill has a job, and he had the nerve to leave the Cubs after they had traded for him. LOL

          • Tony_H

            If he was waived he would end up on a MLB team again this year. LH OF bat’s are always needed especially when they can play all 3 OF spots. About the same as how LH relievers always get another shot.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Meanwhile…check the scoreboard on Calicubs and Greydigger. 209 vs 209

          • Tony_H

            That is a good game this week, not that we don’t seem to have them every week. I am hoping to pull away today.

          • Ripsnorter1

            I am hoping I can win this week, but…it is not even close to being certain. One rainout, a scratched starter, an injury, or just a great day by someone not usually performing at such a high standard can sink us in this league of parity.

          • Tony_H

            So true. There is only a couple of teams that “should” be easy wins, but even those guys have a few W’s and if their unset lineup falls into place it can surprise you.

            Other those those guys, every team can win each week.

          • JasonOfTheBurbs

            I am cruising in my tuneup game for next week.
            Mauer getting on DL hurts a bit, but should be ok.

          • Tony_H

            You are in a close game as well against JimBoC, down 179-173.

          • John_CC

            According to the contract chart here, Vera’s is earning $4M, Kottaras $2.6M, and let’s not forget the are paying Soriano $13M this year to play somewhere else.

            Saying that guys making $2.5M won’t be cut is his backhanded way of calling the cheap.

          • Tony_H

            And with so much evidence to say that they will walk away and pay what is needed to make that happen.

            If you scroll down farther you will see that Kottaras was only paid $265K in termination pay.

          • John_CC

            Oops! My bad, but the point remains the same.

          • Ripsnorter1

            You are putting words in my mouth. I never said they were cheap. I did say that the guaranteed salaries will keep the Cubs from cutting these players.

            Time will tell.

    • Tony_H

      The thing with Wood is his bad outings he has had this year, that didn’t seem to be as bad last year.

      April 26th – 5.2 IP – 5 ER
      May 7th – 4 IP – 8 ER
      May 12th – 6 IP – 4 ER
      May 30th – 2.2 IP – 7 ER
      July 2nd – 3.2 IP – 3 ER

      Now they all count. But in his other 12 starts his ERA is 2.90.

      If you only take out the 3 games where he didn’t go 5 his ERA in the other 14 starts is 3.33.

      So he hasn’t been as bad in all his starts, he has had a few more bad outing this year than last year. If this continues he will be more a BOR type than the 3/4 or even 2/3 that he was looking like he was turning into.

    • John_CC

      $2.5M is not a big money contract. You say they won’t release Sweeney or Barney because the make too much but this a baseless statement. They have released players with salaries a lot more than that.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Baseless statement? JHendry, under Mr. Ricketts, traded Lilly off to save $2.5 million. And we got nothing decent in return. DeJesus was dealt away for no players, but to save money as well.

        I guess we shall see. “Time will tell.”

        • Tony_H

          JH did that to be able to find some money to spend on going for it again the next year because he had maxed out his credit card.

          DeJesus was done in Chicago, I really don’t believe it was about money.

        • John_CC

          Hendry isn’t in charge anymore, the scenario and entire situation is totally different now.

  • Tony_H

    The 5 worst All-Stars ever to make the team.

    And yes one is a Cub!!

    http://espn.go.com/mlb/allstar14/story/_/id/11172460/mlb-five-worst-players-named-all-stars

    • Denver Mike

      They didn’t even have to go back that far, I figured Brian LaHair or Fukudome could make that list!

      • Tony_H

        Both of those guys have far better career numbers than these guys.

  • Tony_H

    ESPN had a panel do All-Star picks.

    http://espn.go.com/mlb/allstar14/story/_/id/11167080/espn-national-league-all-stars

    5 guys on a panel – # times chosen
    Rizzo – 5
    Castro – 2
    Hammel -2
    Samardzija – 1
    Arrieta -1

    So 5 experts from ESPN and 5 Cub players get votes. And right now if you wanted to win the best choice might be the guy none of us would have thought of as an All-Star a month ago.

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