Barney returns, but Alcantara staying for now

Barney returns, but Alcantara staying for now

CHICAGO -- The Cubs will keep Arismendy Alcantara on the roster through Sunday, but it's unclear if he'll still be with the club following the All-Star break.

He further strengthened his case for an extended stay in the bigs in Friday's 5-4 win over the Braves. A day after going 4-for-5, Alcantara singled with two outs in the ninth, stole second and scored the winning run on Justin Ruggiano's walk-off single.

Alcantara was called up on Wednesday to fill in for Darwin Barney, who was on paternity leave. Barney returned Friday, but the Cubs decided to keep Alcantara around longer than originally planned because of their current pitching situation. With the All-Star break around the corner and starters Edwin Jackson and Travis Wood lined up for the final two games of the first half, the club optioned right-handers Kyle Hendricks and Blake Parker to Triple-A Iowa and recalled lefty Zac Rosscup from Iowa before Friday's game.

That allowed the club to keep Alcantara, who is considered an offensive upgrade at second over Barney. The 22-year-old hit .307/.353/.537 with 21 stolen bases and 11 triples in 89 games for Iowa this season, while Barney has posted a .224/.261/.316 line in 70 games for the Cubs.

Cubs manager Rick Renteria said the organization will determine after this weekend what it will do with Alcantara.

"Again, I think that any player, when they impact you and show you what they have, I think the easiest thing to do is for people to start to speculate if he will stick around," Renteria said. "We'll have to make that decision as an organization when we come to it. It would be premature and irresponsible for me to say something like that, but he does impact the way you view him, for sure."

Renteria plans to move Alcantara -- who played 70 games at second base, six at shortstop and 11 in center field at Triple-A this year -- around the diamond so that he plays on a consistent basis. Renteria said Alcantara worked out in center fielder prior to Friday's game, and he may get the start there on Saturday.

"I think that any time you bring up a young prospect ... they have to play. We have to see them," Renteria said. "I'm going to see what I'm going to do in terms of keeping him in there and balancing out the lineup a little bit."

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. Joe Popely is a contributor to Daniel Kramer is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.