Three-day rest paying off for Arismendy Alcantara

Smokies' second baseman Arismendy Alcantara has responded since getting a three-day rest beginning Aug. 5, going 8-for-25 with a double, six runs scored and 3 RBIs. (Photo Courtesy: Roger C. Hoover)

By: Nick Roark

Tennessee Smokies second baseman Arismendy Alcantara was not able to enjoy the All-Star break like most minor leaguers. Rather than rest for three days, the Cubs No. 5 rated prospect flew to New York to participate in the All-Star Futures Game then proceeded to Jacksonville to take part in the Southern League All-Star festivities. Nearly two weeks later, the lack of rest took a toll.

Entering Tennessee’s contest versus the Jacksonville Suns on August 5, Alcantara had played a career-high 111 games, surpassing his previous total of 101 contests with Peoria in 2011.

“He just physically was getting tired along with mentally,” Smokies skipper Buddy Bailey said. “It just kept going for him and it just caught up to where you could see it in his performance.”

Alcantara saw his average drop from .280 before the Mid-Summer break to .266 just two weeks later. Smokies’ hitting coach Desi Wilson said Alcantara’s approach suffered during the 18-game span, as evidenced by the 19 strikeouts the 21-year-old racked up.

“You could see mentally – as well as physically – he was tired and he started getting away from his approach and chasing pitches and missing a lot of fastballs in his count,” Wilson said.

Bailey sat Alcantara for the fourth and fifth games of Tennessee’s series at Jacksonville prior to a scheduled off day on before returning home to play Montgomery.  Although the Dominican native entered as a defensive substitution in the during the Aug. 5 game, the scheduled rest gave Alcantara the break he never had.

“Those three days he got off in Jacksonville,” Wilson said,  “you can see the difference now. His approach is where it needs to be and he’s getting big hits as well.”

Alcantara managed a five-game hitting streak (8-for-22) with two multi-hit affairs to go along with three runs scored and three RBIs since returning to the lineup on August 8. The Cubs’ prospect now says he feels refreshed and is happy to contribute to the Smokies’ lineup.

“I just keep the same, I feel the same,” Alcantara said when asked if he felt fatigued. “I try to do what I can do, just play the game.”

The speedy second baseman showed his fresh legs Wednesday night when he stole home plate on Lookouts starter Chris Reed.

“I just timed the pitcher,” Alcantara said. “I just thought, ‘Ok I have time to steal home,’ because the third baseman played back and then the pitcher, nobody paid attention to me.”

Cubs management will certainly be paying attention to see how Alcantara finishes the season at Tennessee. With a likely promotion to the Triple-A level next season, Alcantara will need to finish in strong fashion to carry momentum towards his Iowa Cubs career.

But a three-day rest might be all he needs to cap off a successful 2013 campaign.

To stay current with all the latest news, follow Smokies on Radio on Twitter and like the Smokies on Radio Facebook page.  Nick Roark is the Senior Beat Writer for the Smokies Radio Network.  You can follow him on Twitter here: NickRoark4.

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Categories: 2013 Smokies Feature


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  1. Cubs Notes: Arrieta gets his audition, Ryno to manage the Phillies, and other news around the league | Cubs Den - August 16, 2013

    […] has some good prospects this year and will get a second wave of top guys next year as well.  The latest piece is on Arismendy Alcantara, who as we speculated was getting a rest after playing in a career high number […]

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