Arismendy Alcantara has taken to this center-field thing.
The Cubs rookie made a pair of nice catches in center during Saturday's 4-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays. He made a sliding grab on Kevin Kiermaier's sinking drive in the third inning. In the fourth, he made a nice running catch on James Loney's drive.
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Alcantara, who came up from Class AAA Iowa on July 9, has been an infielder for most of his professional career. He played both second base and center field after first coming up, but with the promotion of Javier Baez to the big club last week, Alcantara has been a center fielder.
So far, so good.
"For a young man who previous to getting to us had probably played 10 or 11 games, he's starting to take to it," manager Rick Renteria said. "I think we all see there are certain things that we still need to work on. But in terms of us sitting in the dugout and watching him read a ball off the bat, his reaction time, it's very good."
Alcantara gets good jumps on flyballs, with Renteria calling his first step "pretty immediate."
"He gets to balls pretty easily," the manager said. "His jumps are very good. You can see when the ball comes off the bat what his movement is, and it's pretty good."
Pitcher Felix Doubront had a throwing session Saturday. The Cubs obtained him July 30 from Boston and put him on the disabled list with a left-calf strain.
"He's feeling better," Rick Renteria said. "He'll continue to progress."
Pitcher Jacob Turner, obtained Friday in a trade with the Marlins, is due to join the Cubs any day. He'll be placed on the 25-man roster because he is out of minor league options.
The Cubs will have some work to do with Turner to get him turned around. He was 4-7 with a 5.97 ERA in 20 games (12 starts) with Miami.
"I don't know what that plan is yet," Rick Renteria said. "I would say once he gets here we'll talk about it. He had been used in the pen in Miami toward the end there."
This and that:
Starlin Castro singled in the fifth to extend a hit streak to eight games, tying a season high for him. Castro is 14-for-33 (.424) in the streak. Castro's 128 hits led National League shortstops at game's end. … Edwin Jackson tossed his first quality start at Wrigley Field since May 17. His 12 losses are tied for second in the NL.