Alcantara getting on-the-job training in center

Alcantara getting on-the-job training in center

NEW YORK -- Arismendy Alcantara has primarily played second base in his career. But right now, the rookie is the Cubs' center fielder and learning how to play there in the big leagues.

Alcantara made his 19th start in center on Sunday in the Cubs' game against the Mets. He made a nice catch on Curtis Granderson's fly ball in the second inning on Saturday, but his error in the Mets' sixth contributed to two runs.

"One of the biggest things we wanted to do is that now that he's here -- and I know it's tough at the Major League level -- but we wanted to give him a look in center, as long as he can play out there," Cubs manager Rick Renteria said. "He had a tough play in center field [on Saturday], coming in -- but he also made a great catch against the wall.

"He's showing signs that there are some good things coming from the defensive end of it in center field, and he's not going to get any better unless he's out there playing it."

Alcantara, who made 15 starts at second before moving to center, could develop into a versatile player and provide what Emilio Bonifacio did for the Cubs at the start of the season.

"You can't fault these young guys when they're going out there and giving you the type of effort they're giving you," Renteria said. "If [a play] doesn't work out, you're a little less worried about it -- because they'll learn from the experiences and they'll get better."

Alcantara made another highlight-reel catch during Sunday's game, robbing Kirk Nieuwenhuis of a hit in the eighth inning of Chicago's 2-1 win.

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