Breaking News Bar
posted: 9/14/2012 6:36 PM

Top pick Almora basks in Wrigley Field aura

hello
Success - Article sent! close
  • Brett Jackson, right, celebrates with Cubs closer Carlos Marmol, who recorded his 19th straight save and 20th of the season Friday in a 7-4 win over the Pirates at Wrigley Field.

      Brett Jackson, right, celebrates with Cubs closer Carlos Marmol, who recorded his 19th straight save and 20th of the season Friday in a 7-4 win over the Pirates at Wrigley Field.
    Associated Press

  • Closer Carlos Marmol celebrates with catcher Steve Clevenger after the Cubs beat the Pirates 7-4 at Wrigley Field on Friday.

      Closer Carlos Marmol celebrates with catcher Steve Clevenger after the Cubs beat the Pirates 7-4 at Wrigley Field on Friday.
    Associated Press

 
 

It didn't take Albert Almora long to adjust.

The Cubs' No. 1 draft choice from this year came to Wrigley Field on Friday to work out with the big club and take batting practice.

Order Reprint Print Article
 
Interested in reusing this article?
Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.
The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.
Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.

Contact information ( * required )

Success - request sent close

After taking a few swings, Almora quickly adjusted his uniform pants, which had been showing generous portion of blue sock as minor-leaguers in the system are required to do. Down went the bottom of the pants legs to Almora's shoe tops.

"That's the first thing I asked, 'Do I have to show sock here?'" Almora said. "They said, 'You're in the show. You can do whatever you want here.'"

Almora will head to instructional ball in Arizona on Sunday. He won't be the only visitor to Wrigley this weekend. Cuban signee Jorge Soler will be on hand to work out Saturday. The Cubs signed Soler to a major-league contract in late June.

Soler and Almora played together in Arizona before Almora moved up to Class A Boise and Soler went to Class A Peoria.

"It's been overwhelming, Almora said of his summer. "It's awesome. They had a great group of guys down there with the AZL and Boise. We had a couple of playoff teams. We got to the championship with Boise. I wish we would have won, but I had a great time, and we got far."

The visit to Wrigley wasn't bad, either.

"It's amazing," he said. "When I was in center field, I said, 'I don't know how much history has been on this field.' I'm very blessed, and I'm very thankful."

The kids are OK:

First baseman Anthony Rizzo and center fielder Brett Jackson returned to the lineup Friday. Rizzo injured his upper back and neck in a nasty collision Tuesday with Astros first baseman Brett Wallace. The Cubs took Rizzo out of that game, and he missed Wednesday's finale in Houston.

Jackson missed almost a week after crashing into the wall in Pittsburgh last Friday while making a catch.

"I feel like I was still in an accident," said Rizzo who went 1-for-4, a 2-run double, in Friday's 7-4 victory over the Pirates. "Good enough to go."

Jackson said he felt "great" after the time off.

"Use my athleticism and try not to ram myself into something hard," Jackson said of what he learned.

Manager Dale Sveum said he wouldn't discourage Jackson from that kind of play.

"You never take anybody's aggressiveness away or anything like that," Sveum said. "That's part of the game. Those are the kind of guys you want playing for you, that will go through a wall. That play changed that whole game around. Those are the kind of things why people play in the big leagues and why you put them in center field and up the middle, because they make plays like that to change games around."

Jackson made another nice catch Friday, running in and diving to rob Pedro Alvarez in the eighth.

This and that:

Darwin Barney extended a hitting streak to a career-best nine games. He's 11-for-32 (.344) during the streak. He also extended his National League record to 129 straight games at second base without an error. ... Carlos Marmol earned his 20th save and his 19th straight, dating to May 2. He's the fifth pitcher in franchise history to record at least three straight seasons with 20 or more saves, joining Lee Smith, Bruce Sutter, Ryan Dempster and Randy Myers.

Share this page
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.