Arismendy Alcantara has already played his way into a longer-than-planned stay with the big league team and he could make the Cubs decision to send him down to Triple-A a little more difficult if he keeps impacting baseball games.
Before Friday’s game, Jed Hoyer said the team still planned to send Alcantara down in order to continue his development and spend more time learning how to play centerfield. Alcantara then went out and scored the winning run after reaching on a two-out single in the ninth and stealing second base.
Rick Renteria was asked about keeping Alcantara. Renteria told the beat writers, “When you have a young person come in fresh to the big league, there’s a lot of energy. There’s a lot of excitement. There’s a willingness to want to go out and show what you have. The easiest thing is for everybody to start to speculate: ‘Oh, he’s going to stick around.’ We’ll have to make that decision as an organization when we come to it. Right now, we can’t. It would be premature for me, and irresponsible for me, to say something like that. But he certainly does impact the way you view him, for sure.”
After just three games, the comparison is being made to the way Junior Lake played last year when he made his big league debut. Lake hit .310/.333/.466 in his first 14 games. Lake is struggling this season, his playing time has diminished and his broken more bats over his knee lately than he’s hit home runs. Comcast SportsNet questioned why he has not been sent down to receive regular at bats and playing time with Iowa.
Arismendy Alcantara produced in Iowa and earned a spot on the PCL All-Star team, but he could be sent out in a numbers game, even if he keeps hitting, if trades are not made or if the Cubs decide to keep Junior Lake with the big league team to continue his development.
Emilio Bonifacio played his first rehab game for the AZL Cubs Friday night. Bonifacio went 3-for-4 with a strikeout in his first game action in a month.
Bonifacio was placed on the 15-day DL on June 13 with a right oblique strain. The Cubs have not given a timeframe for him returning to the big league team.
After a hot start, Emilio Bonifacio cooled off before landing on the DL. For the year, Bonifacio is hitting .261/.307/.340.
Minor News and Notes
LHP Carson Sands made his pro debut Friday night. Sands, the Cubs fourth round pick in last month’s draft, pitched a scoreless inning with two strikeouts, zero walks and no hits allowed.
Mark Zagunis keeps hitting and has hit safely in nine of his last 10 games with four multi-hit games. Zagunis is 13-for-37 over his last 10 games and is hitting .348/.474/.413 in 12 games with Boise. Zagunis has a double, a triple, nine walks, eight strikeouts and a .887 OPS.
Kyle Schwarber is 11-for-39 over his last 10 games with four doubles. Schwarber has hit safely in seven of his last 10 and has reached base safely in nine of his last 10. Schwarber has a .362/.457/.652 line with eight doubles and four home runs with a 1.109 OPS in 19 games for Kane County.
Dan Vogelbach has reached base safely in each of his last 21 games. Vogelbach went 2-for-5 with a double and a RBI on Friday night and for the season, Vogelbach has a .274/.362/.427 line with 21 doubles, a triple, eight home runs, 41 walks, 59 strikeouts and a .788 OPS.
Albert Almora has reached base in nine of his last 10 games and is hitting .371/.405/.657 in July with two doubles, a walk, two home runs, two walks, five strikeouts and a 1.063 OPS.
After six games in the Cubs system, Billy McKinney is 4-for-17 with three walks and three strikeouts.
Addison Russell collected two more hits and drove in a run Friday night. Russell is 4-for-19 in four games with the Smokies.
Jorge Soler went 1-for-4 with a walk Friday night and did not collect an extra basehit. In 12 games for the Smokies, Soler is 16-for-41 with eight doubles, three home runs, six walks and nine strikeouts (.390/.468/.805/1.273).
Corey Black is 1-1 in his last three starts with a 1.53 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP (13 hits, eight walks, 15 strikeouts). For the year, Black is 4-6 with a 2.71 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP. Black has given up 60 hits with 44 walks and 83 strikeouts in 83 innings.
This Day In Cubstory
2012 – Cubs released Mike MacDougal
1998 – Cubs released Bob Patterson
1997 – Cubs signed amateur free agent Carlos Zambrano
1977 – Bruce Sutter gave up a game-winning home run to the Mets’ Steve Henderson in a Cubs 4-2 loss to the Metropolitans. After the game Sutter asked to be excused from the All-Star Game due to pain in his arm. Bleeding was found in Sutter’s arm and he received the week of the All-Star Game off to rest the injury.
1965 – Ron Santo singled in Willie Mays in the seventh inning with the winning run for the NL. The Senior Circuit beat the Junior Circuit 6-5 at the All-Star Game at Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington, Minnesota
1946 – Peanuts Lowry hit two singles and a home run and drove in seven runs in a 13-2 win over the Dodgers at Wrigley Field
1945 – Cubs won their 11th game in a row with a 6-1 victory over the Braves at Wrigley Field
1931 – The Cubs and Cardinals combined to 23 doubles and 43 extra basehits as the Cardinals beat the Cubs 17-13 in the second game of a doubleheader. The Cubs hit 10 doubles, Cardinals 13, three by Gabby Harnett, Woody English, Rip Collins and Gus Mancuso. An overflow crowd of 45,715 in St. Louis caused the umpires to rule that any ball ending up in the crowd would be a ground rule double.
1917 – Phillies selected Johnny Evers off waivers from the Braves
1910 – The legendary verse detailing the Cubs double play combination of Tinkers to Evers to Chance, entitled That Double Play Again, was published for the first time. When the ‘New York Evening Mail’ republished the same poem six days later it used the title by which it is known best, Baseball’s Sad Lexicon.
1905 – Mordecai ‘Three-Finger’ Brown notched the first of nine straight wins over Christy Mathewson. Brown allowed two hits in a 8-1 victory over New York.