Let's do some quick news and notes before we watch the Cubs take on the San Francisco Giants at AT & T park at 9:15 CT. They'll be going for the series win.
Alcantara to play the OF for Iowa
The Cubs have to know that this has to start speculation about players getting promotions. The preferred position for Javier Baez is 2B with either Mike Olt or Kris Bryant slotting in at 3B. That would seem to leave Arismendy Alcantara as the odd man out. But the Cubs like him and would like to get him into the lineup, so he's playing the OF for Iowa tonight, according to Carrie Muskat.
UPDATE: Carrie Muskat is saying that Alcantara is playing CF because the team is short-handed until Ryan Kalish arrives Hmmm.. Don't buy that. Why not put Watkins in CF? He's played it before -- this year, in fact So has Matt Szczur and Brett Jackson. Looks like Cubs are trying to temper expectations here but I don't doubt the intentions behind this move -- the Cubs want to get a look.
Alcantara is the most MLB ready of the Cubs upper level prospects and the move was likely more about him than Javier Baez. His walk rate has been a much more acceptable 8.7% in May after struggling with more experienced pitchers early. It helps that Alcantara has hit with such consistent extra base power, meaning that pitcher may approach him more cautiously.
That extra base power also means his bat can play in the OF, especially CF, where he is slated to play tonoght. His ISO of .240 and .520 slugging pct. would rank first among Cubs regulars and he would add switch-hitting as well as an element of speed and athleticism to the Cubs lineup.
As for Baez, we can't ignore the fact that his preferred position suddenly became unblocked at Iowa. Baez is still playing SS, but a transition to that position will be seamless. Utility man Logan Watkins is playing 2B for now but the Cubs will move him when the time comes.
Wright on paternity leave, Cubs call up Parker
Blake Parker has been pitching extremely well at Iowa and is too good to stay there for very long. The emergence of Neil Ramirez, Hector Rondon, and Justin Grimm left Parker as the odd man out, but instead of sulking, he just went out and dominated the PCL, posting a 0,77 ERA with no walks and 15 Ks in 11.2 innings.
Wesley Wright went on the paternity leave list, opening up a spot for Parker.
- Bonifacio CF
- Ruggiano LF
- Rizzo 1B
- Castro SS
- Valbuena 2B
- Castillo C
- Schierholtz RF
- Olt 3B
- Arrieta P
It's nice to see Justin Ruggiano back in the lineup, though it comes at the expense of Junior Lake, who has played well this month.
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