Barney taking three-day paternity leave starting tomorrow, for birth of daughter.
— Gordon Wittenmyer (@GDubCub) July 9, 2014
Breaking: Arismendy Alcantara getting called up to Cubs for Darwin Barney who's on paternity leave. 2 day call up. That's it
— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) July 9, 2014
This is great news all around. Congratulations to Darwin Barney and his family! And another congratulations to Arismendy Alcantara!
Darwin Barney had a very unimpressive 2013 season. Yes, he was a finalist for the Gold Glove award again, but his offensive production was very lackluster. He finished last season with career lows in hits (104), batting average (.208), and on base percentage (.266). This season was a chance for him to improve offensively and try to make one last claim at a future roster spot. Unfortunately this season didn’t start out very well for him, but recently he has started to pick it up a little bit. He has a .268 batting average in the last two weeks, including a .368 mark in his last five games.
Arismendy Alcantara started to turn heads last year, and has continued to do so in 2014. This year with Triple-A Iowa he owns a .307/.353/.537 slash line, and it feels like he gets at least two base hits every game. His consistent production and strong skill set earned him a major boost in Baseball America’s prospect rankings, jumping from number 100 on the preseason list to number 33 in their recent midseason rankings. In addition to his strong offense, he has plus speed and has started to play in the outfield more to increase his defensive versatility.
Alcantara will only be up with Chicago for the remaining two games against the Reds, but hopefully he will get an opportunity to play. The Cubs will go up against two right handed starters in games four and five (Alfredo Simon and Homer Bailey, respectively). With Mike Olt struggling against righties this year, (and against all pitchers in general), manager Rick Renteria could choose to play Luis Valbuena at third base and give Alcantara a couple of starts at second base.
After the promotion of starting pitchers Kyle Hendricks and Dallas Beeler earlier this week, Alcantara is the next in a long line of prospects who are making their way to Wrigley Field. His stay with Chicago will be brief, but fans should be able to get a glimpse of what the future will hold.