Arismendy Alcantara looks good, fields good in center
BY DAVID JUST For Sun-Times Media August 9, 2014 10:24PM
Arismendy Alcantara gets set to make a sliding catch on a ball hit by Kevin Kiermaier in the third inning. | Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
RAYS AT CUBS
The facts: 1:20 p.m., CSN, 720-AM. The pitchers:
Alex Cobb (7-6, 3.52 ERA) vs. Travis Wood (7-9, 5.08).
Updated: September 11, 2014 6:52AM
Rookie Arismendy Alcantara looked like he was born to play center field Saturday, making diving catches in the third and fourth innings.
Alcantara had played only 11 games in center before his July promotion from Class AAA Iowa. He has played the position 11 times in the majors.
“He is starting to take to it,” manager Rick Renteria said. “We all see that there are certain things he needs to work on, but in terms of us sitting in the dugout and watching him read the ball off the bat, his reaction time is very good.
“Over time his approach and understanding of the situations and knowing the wind and attacking the ball stronger — all those things are going to develop as he continues to play out there.”
Alcantara slid to catch a shallow fly off the bat of Kevin Kiermaier in the third inning, and he dove to his left on a fly ball by James Loney in the fourth.
In the minors, Alcantara was a middle infielder, racking up 181 games at second base and 266 at shortstop.
Turner in Bosio’s hands
Renteria hasn’t formulated a plan for newly acquired pitcher Jacob Turner.
A hard-throwing right-hander and 2009 first-round draft pick by the Tigers, Turner opened the year as a starter for the Marlins before being relegated to the bullpen in June.
So how to best use Turner, who hadn’t joined the team yet, remains up in the air.
“I don’t know what that plan is,” Renteria said. “He had been used in the pen in Miami toward the end there, so it’s for us to have the discussion and see how we move forward.”
Turner, acquired for two minor-leaguers, will be the latest young arm entrusted to pitching coach Chris Bosio, who has overseen the debuts of six rookies this season, including Kyle Hendricks, Dallas Beeler and Tsuyoshi Wada.
The Cubs’ six rookie pitchers have combined for a 2.82 ERA in 105 games.
Turner will be a different kind of undertaking. He was Baseball America’s 22nd-ranked prospect entering the 2012 season and was the centerpiece of the Tigers’ trade for Anibal Sanchez.
He has struggled since his promotion to the majors and was 4-7 this season with a 5.97 ERA in 20 appearances, 12 of them starts.
“All of us react differently to different situations,” Renteria said. “He’ll get a change of scenery, and it could help.
‘‘He was a highly touted prospect and has a good arm. So get him here, put our eyes on him in real terms, get the staff to work with him, and we’ll see how things develop.”
No timetable for Doubront
Renteria said there is no timetable for the return of lefthanded pitcher Felix Doubront, who threw a bullpen session Saturday.
Doubront, acquired in a trade from the Red Sox on July 30, is on the disabled list with a calf strain. Renteria said there isn’t a rehab outing scheduled for the 26yearold lefty.
The Cubs’ official Twitter account proclaimed the game over before the last out was made.
The tweet, which a team spokesman said was sent by employees of MLB Advanced Media in New York, declared a 4-0 Rays victory with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning.