New name to know: Alcantara
BOSTON -- There's not a Cubs fan around who doesn't know about top prospects Kris Bryant, Javier Baez and Albert Almora.
Here's another name to know: Arismendy Alcantara.
The 22-year-old second baseman is tearing it up at Class AAA Iowa, prompting talk that he could earn a call-up sooner rather than later.
Entering Wednesday's action, Alcantara had a line of .307/.348/.540 with 22 doubles, 10 triples, 10 home runs and 39 RBI for Iowa. He also had 21 walks and 78 strikeouts.
"He's been playing really great, obviously," general manager Jed Hoyer said Wednesday at Fenway Park. "His year has been on a really good trajectory. He started off in April and struggled a little bit with his strike-zone control. It's been getting better and better every month. I'm really glad. Baseball Prospectus had him at No. 30 prospect. I feel like he's the underappreciated guy in our system.
"He's only 22. He's a switch hitter. He's in Triple-A, and no one talks about him because of Baez and Bryant and Almora. He has a chance to have a pretty special year in Triple-A when you look at his doubles, triples, homers and stolen bases. Guys only don't really do that today. We're excited for him. He's on the (40-man) roster, which his nice for us. I'm not going to answer yes or no whether he'd come up at some point, but certainly he's opened our eyes with the year he's had."
Infielder Emilio Bonifacio has gone to Arizona to begin rehabbing from a right-oblique strain that put him on the disabled list June 13.
Manager Rick Renteria said Bonifacio is "still in the healing process," and in line with that, Jed Hoyer said there is no timetable for a return to game action or to the active roster.
"He's progressed really well," Hoyer said. "I don't think we have a great estimate of when exactly it's going to be, but knock on wood, he's still beating our projections so far, and hopefully we'll have him back fairly soon.
"He's been working out. I think he feels good. Hopefully he'll be our projections, but no time frame yet."
Wada a candidate:
After an off-day Thursday, the Cubs head to Washington for a holiday-weekend three-game series. After that, it's five games in four days at Cincinnati, including a makeup day-night doubleheader next Tuesday.
The Cubs will be permitted a 26th man on the roster for the doubleheader. Last week at Wrigley Field, they called up right-hander Dallas Beeler to start against the Nationals. For next week, the nod may go to veteran left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada, who was recently added to the 40-man roster.
At Iowa, Wada is 9-4 with a 2.55 ERA. He is a longtime pitcher in Japanese baseball.