The Daily CCO: Alcantara Has Become Part of the Everyday Conversation and Other Cubs News

Arismendy Alcantara has been making noise in the Cubs’ system for several years, but he is producing to the point that the mainstream media is asking more and more questions about him on a daily basis.

Alcantara ran his hitting streak to 12 games Wednesday with a 2-for-4 night at the plate that included his PCL best 11th triple of the season and a RBI. Alcantara has a good shot of being named the Cubs Player of the Month for June after posting a .345/.395/.549 line with eight doubles, three triples, three home runs, eight stolen bases and a .944 OPS.

Arismendy Alcantara is hitting .475/.488/.775 (19-for-40) over his last 10 games with four doubles, a triple, two home runs, three stolen bases, two walks, nine strikeouts and a 1.263 OPS.

Jed Hoyer was asked about Alcantara again Wednesday and the Cubs’ GM said Alcantara is the “unappreciated guy in our system” and “no one talks about him because of Baez, Bryant and Almora.” Hoyer feels Alcantara belongs in the discussion of the group of core prospects in the organization.

The Cubs have been playing Arismendy Alcantara in centerfield in order to expose him to the position. Alcantara has played seven games in center, six games at short and 68 games at second base this season.

Jake Arrieta

Jake Arrieta had an unbelievable month and he received votes for NL Pitcher of the Month for June, but Clayton Kershaw won the award after posting a 6-0 record in six starts with a 0.82 ERA and a 0.68 WHIP. Kershaw put together one of the most dominant pitching performances in the history of the game when he no hit the Rockies on June 18 and he struck out 61 batters in 44 innings while walking four batters (4) and giving up 26 hits.

Jake Arrieta was excellent in his own right. Arrieta was 4-0 in six June starts with a 0.92 ERA and a 0.69 WHIP. In 39 1/3 innings, Arrieta gave up 21 hits with six walks and 48 strikeouts. With the attention Arrieta is now receiving, it will be interesting to see how he responds on the mound.

Tsuyoshi Wada

Jed Hoyer said Wednesday that Tsuyoshi Wada could start one of the two games Tuesday in Cincinnati. The Cubs and Reds play a day-night doubleheader to make up the game that was rained out on April 28. The Cubs can add a pitcher to the active roster for the day and it appears this time around it will be Wada.

PrintTsuyoshi Wada was added to the 40-man roster and calling him up would give him a start in July before he figures to be part of the rotation in August and September.

In 16 starts for Iowa this season, Wada is 9-4 with a 2.55 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP. The lefty has struck out 101 batters in 99 innings with 25 walks and 91 hits allowed.

All-Stars

Voting for the 2014 All-Star Game ends Thursday at 10:59pm CDT and the Cubs have two position players that deserve to be in Minneapolis on July 15.

Take a minute and go vote a bunch of times for Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro.

News and Notes

According to ESPN Stats and Info, Mike Olt’s two-run homer Wednesday night traveled 443 feet, the longest of his career.

Wednesday’s 16-9 victory over the Red Sox at Fenway Park lasted four hours and 19 minutes, three minutes shy of the longest nine-inning game, by time, in Cubs history. The Cubs lost to the Brewers 14-8 at Wrigley Field on May 11, 2000 in a game that took four hours and 22 minutes to play.

Travis Wood started both of the Cubs blowouts this season. Wood was the winning pitcher in the 17-5 victory over the Cardinals and received a no-decision Wednesday night in the Cubs 16-9 win over the Red Sox.

The Cubs have scored 93 runs in Travis Wood’s 17 starts this season and 41 in the 17 games Jeff Samardzija has started.

Emilio Bonifacio is making progress in his rehab from a right oblique strain according to a report from Carrie Muskat. Bonifacio is working out at the Cubs facility in Mesa but there is still no timetable for his return.

In the wake of the debacle in Houston, the Cubs front office is talking to the IT department about upgrading the security on the team’s network.

Shane Farrell is making a name for himself in the Cubs scouting department.

 

Minor News and Notes

Pierce Johnson made his way back to Tennessee after a brief stint with Kane County, and he dominated. Johnson did not allow a run in 7 1/3 innings and gave up one hit with two walks and five strikeouts. Johnson had been rehabbing a calf injury with Kane County prior to his start Wednesday for the Smokies. Johnson received a standing ovation when the left the field Wednesday night and tipped his cap to the fans at Smokies Park in appreciation. Wednesday night was the longest outing of Johnson’s career.

Chris Rusin tossed his 10th quality start of the season Wednesday. Iowa’s staff has already matched the number of quality starts (50) from a year ago.

RHP Dillon Maples made his first start of the season Wednesday night and pitched two scoreless innings with two strikeouts and two hits allowed for the AZL Cubs.

Albert Almora went 3-for-3 Wednesday night with a double, a walk and two runs scored. Almora is 17-for-43 in his last 10 games with a .395/.435/.558 line with two doubles, one triple, one home run, two stolen bases and a .993 OPS.

The Des Moines Register pointed out how quickly Manny Ramirez has fit into the I-Cubs locker room and how much the players and coaches seem to love him.

Javier Baez went 1-for-3 Wednesday with a double and a walk. Baez has walked 10 times in his last 10 games with nine strikeouts and is hitting .344/.488/.500/.988 with five doubles. Baez is taking grounders at second base before games as the Cubs prepare him for a position change. Baez has played a very good shortstop during the games.

Eloy Jimenez went yard for the first time in his professional career Wednesday and was 2-for-4 with a home run and two runs scored. Jimenez is 4-for-9 with a double and a home run in three games.

There was a lot of player movement in the minor league system Wednesday. Make sure to check out the Down on the Farm Report for all of the details.

This Day In Cubstory

2009 – Cubs signed free agent Casey Fossum

2008 – Cubs released Ben Broussard

2001 – Cubs signed amateur free agent Juan Mateo

2001 – Cubs signed amateur free agent Felix Pie

1999 – Cubs signed amateur free agent Carlos Marmol

1987 – Jamie Moyer struck out seven straight batters, but the Cubs lost 3-1 to the Giants

1971 – Don Kessinger hit an inside the park home run in Milt Pappas 3-1 victory over the Pirates at Wrigley Field

1967 – Billy Williams, Ron Santo and Randy Hundley hit home runs and Rico Carty and Felipe Alou hit homers for the Braves, all in the first inning, that tied a Major League record for the most homers hit in a single inning, five. Carty homered later in the game but Glenn Beckert’s three run homer helped the Cubs beat the Braves 12-6 in Atlanta.

1966 – Moises Alou, born

1955 – Matt Keough, born

1945 – Phil Cavarretta, Don Johnson and Stan Hack scored five runs each as the Cubs collected eight doubles and beat the Braves 24-2 behind Claude Passeau at Braves Field. Cavarretta drove in five runs. The Cubs scored the most runs in franchise history, post-1900.

1935 – Cubs release Kiki Cuyler in an effort to cut the team’s payroll

1929 – The Cubs and Reds became the first teams to collectively turn nine double players in a Major League game. The Cubs turned five of the double plays and beat the Reds 7-5 at Wrigley Field

1883 – The Chicago National League Ballclub beat Buffalo 31-7 on 32 hits at Lakefront Park. The team that would be known as the Cubs hit 14 doubles, four each by Cap Anson and Abner Dalrymple. Anson, Dalrymple and King Kelly had five hits each. Larry Corcoran was the winning pitcher

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Quote of the Day

"A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him." - David Brinkley
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  • John G

    Don’t look now, but the Cubs have slipped all the way down to the #8 draft pick.

    • Jeff Wilson

      LOL,darn it!

    • Jeff Wilson

      LOL,darn it!

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

    I just did my 35 votes for Rizzo and Castro. Hopefully it helps. With the numbers each is putting up they deserve a start. Goldschmidt has Rizzo in a few categories but there’s not really any player outside Tulowitzki that is as highly ranked as Rizzo in so many categories. He’s top 10 in just about everything outside average and he’s not too bad there. OPS, OBP, Slugging, he’s killing it…

    • Denver Mike

      I did the same, and just for you ‘Rider I threw Luis Valbuena in there as well. :)

      • Jeff Wilson

        me three!

      • Jeff Wilson

        me three!

    • Chris K.

      I made my votes for them as well, but also added votes as I do every year for those guys who stink the most. Unfortunately, Dan Uggla beat out Darwin Barney for my vote this year.

  • John_CC

    So, if(when) Alcantara is brought up it seems like it will be to play CF at least until Barney is dealt (fingers crossed) this month, who would go down? Junior?

    Here is a little known stat that I gleaned from Peter Gammons:

    “16 runs is a lot scoring for a visiting team

    There have only been five games this season in which a team has gone into someone else’s house and scored at least 16 times. Three times Chicago teams have been involved, with the Cubs the only team this season to do it twice.”

    Then he had a cool little box score thing generated from BR.com of the teams that have done it this year.

    http://www.gammonsdaily.com/16-for-the-road/

    • Tony_H

      I don’t think anyone would go done so to speak, they would trade/dump one of the vet OF’s.

    • Denver Mike

      For whatever reason they keep giving Sweeney chances, but I’d have to think he would be the #1 DFA candidate in the event we don’t throw Barney or Schieholtz in on the Hammel or Samardzija deals.

      • John_CC

        I hope that part of the delay in trades is Epstein finding a way to get Barney and/or any of the OFers into a package. Hell, I’d be up for including Lake if it sweetened the deal.

        • Denver Mike

          I don’t know if it was the difference maker, but by throwing Clevenger in to the Feldman deal we ended up with Arrieta and Strop. So if it takes a throw in from the “Mendoza Club” by all means, take them all.

          • John_CC

            And I just really want to see Barney and Mendoza Club Band (bad lounge act?) to be gone and I think it’s better to trade him than DFA. I just don’t see Barney being DFA until much later in the season. I want Alcantara to have a lot of play time opportunity when he gets here and having 2B and CF to play will only benefit him.

          • Denver Mike

            They’d have to be a better lounge act than they are roster fillers!

          • Ripsnorter1

            Barney makes $2.5 million. Most GMs are not looking to add payroll at this time.

            It would be like one of us making a car deal–trading for a different vehicle–and the dealership “throwing in” another bill to pay and we not receiving any value more than “this towel can clean up dirt.” Well, we have many of them at home already. And most GMs have a minor league 2B who can pick up the ball but not hit his weight.

          • Tony_H

            The Cubs would pay the salary to get back a better player.

            They have done this every chance they get to get a better return since Theo and Jed were here.

        • Denver Mike

          I don’t know if it was the difference maker, but by throwing Clevenger in to the Feldman deal we ended up with Arrieta and Strop. So if it takes a throw in from the “Mendoza Club” by all means, take them all.

  • redlarczykg

    On any other ML team with so many holes in it, Alcantara and Bryant would be up and playing every day. If Olt can “develop” in the show, so can Alcantara and Bryant. The myth the Theo and Jed have a magic process to develop players is a joke many Cub fans believe in. I don’t! There is no cookie cutter way to bring players along through a system. They don’t follow there own “rules”. Case in point, Kevin Brown was just promoted from Boise to AA Tenn.

    • Tony_H

      Not all players have the same path, development plan or purpose. Olt they are not worried about his service time, where Alcantara, Bryant, Baez etc, they are watching the clock and since they are not in the playoff hunt won’t rush them up. If they were in the playoff hunt, these guys would be up to try and help the team win this year.

      There is no magic process, just a process that they use. No cookie cutter system, more customized to each player. “System players” move up and down in no distinct pattern, but more to fill a hole.

      • redlarczykg

        Tony, your right that promotion for a Cub is focused on money and control. But Cub Fans have control of their pocket books and aren’t buying this product. It’s way to much about the money in todays game.

        • Tony_H

          All 30 teams consider money as part of the promotion process. If they didn’t, they would not be doing their job.

          Tell me one sport that isn’t about money anymore. Actually name me anything that isn’t about money in some way.

          • redlarczykg

            As Mike Murphy has always says, “To understand things follow the money”.

          • Tony_H

            This post explains a lot.

    • John_CC

      “On any other ML team with so many holes in it, Alcantara and Bryant would be up and playing every day”

      Really, you sound certain of this? Have looked the teams with worse records than the Cubs (amazingly there are like 6 or 7 now) and know that they have all promoted their best AAA players? Your statement is hyperbole.

      I do, however, agree about Olt. Unfortunately the only thing he is developing is and all or nothing approach to hitting that will not sustain long term success.

    • Denver Mike

      I completely disagree that “On any other ML team with so many holes in it, Alcantara and Bryant would be up and playing every day”. The Cardinals tried bringing up Oscar Tavares earlier this season when they were in need of CF help, he struggled mightily so they sent him back down for seasoning rather than leave him to struggle. The Pirates where within 3 games of last in the Central earlier in the year, and Polanco was lighting the world on fire in AAA, but he stayed there because PIT wanted the extra year of control. George Springer dominated AA and AAA all last year for the Astros, but still didn’t get a taste of the majors until a month ago. Other players currently in the minors that could likely help their ML clubs right now, but the teams are allowing them to develop? Davidson (CHW), Piscotty (STL), Franco (PHI), Buxton (MIN), Pederson (LAD), Lindor (CLE), Gallo (TEX), Bundy (BAL), Sanchez (TOR), Bradley (ARI), Gray (COL). You mention that Olt can “develop” in the show, so Bryant should too … how has that worked out for Mike Olt?

      I don’t think anyone thinks there is any “magic” in the way the FO develops young talent. I think they dictate to players what they must accomplish to earn a promotion, and then hold them accountable for meeting those goals before they get moved up. They have also come out and said that certain players force your hand in regards to promotion, but that is the exception to the “rules” as you state.

      You are entitled for your opinion, so I apologize if I am coming on strong, but your argument wreaks of bias and doesn’t really consider the facts.

    • Denver Mike

      I completely disagree that “On any other ML team with so many holes in it, Alcantara and Bryant would be up and playing every day”. The Cardinals tried bringing up Oscar Tavares earlier this season when they were in need of CF help, he struggled mightily so they sent him back down for seasoning rather than leave him to struggle. The Pirates where within 3 games of last in the Central earlier in the year, and Polanco was lighting the world on fire in AAA, but he stayed there because PIT wanted the extra year of control. George Springer dominated AA and AAA all last year for the Astros, but still didn’t get a taste of the majors until a month ago. Other players currently in the minors that could likely help their ML clubs right now, but the teams are allowing them to develop? Davidson (CHW), Piscotty (STL), Franco (PHI), Buxton (MIN), Pederson (LAD), Lindor (CLE), Gallo (TEX), Bundy (BAL), Sanchez (TOR), Bradley (ARI), Gray (COL). You mention that Olt can “develop” in the show, so Bryant should too … how has that worked out for Mike Olt?

      I don’t think anyone thinks there is any “magic” in the way the FO develops young talent. I think they dictate to players what they must accomplish to earn a promotion, and then hold them accountable for meeting those goals before they get moved up. They have also come out and said that certain players force your hand in regards to promotion, but that is the exception to the “rules” as you state.

      You are entitled for your opinion, so I apologize if I am coming on strong, but your argument wreaks of bias and doesn’t really consider the facts.

  • Denver Mike

    I’m sure Neil will have a write up on this before long, but it sounds as if the remaining two rooftop owners that were holding out on an agreement realize they are screwed:

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/breaking/chi-rooftop-owners-agree-not-to-sue-cubs-if-only-2-signs-20140703,0,4385421.story?track=rss

    As it is 4th of July weekend lets just say “America the Beautiful”!

    • John G

      You can bet they want to make a deal before the city approves all seven signs. I, for one, will miss seeing the Eamus Catuli and ACxxxxxxxx signs. But, hey, times change don’t they?

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Thank you for posting the link. The story is still developing, so I am going to wait a little while to post a report. Again, thank you for the link. This is a positive step forward.

  • Denver Mike

    If you don’t follow Jon Greenberg in Twitter, you probably should. His last two Tweets re: the Cubs and Wrigley renovations are pretty funny:

    https://twitter.com/jon_greenberg/status/484757125441130496

    https://twitter.com/jon_greenberg/status/484758668852731904

  • Steve Baier

    I’d love to see Alcantara get a call-up after the All-Star break, and in the lineup every day. He’s an exciting player! Without trying to foresee a specific trade, I would just DFA Sweeney for the corresponding move.