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 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.
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.
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.
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