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Renteria ready to give Alcantara a chance

CINCINNATI -- Cubs manager Rick Renteria is wasting no time getting a look at Arismendy Alcantara.

Alcantara, a 22-year-old infielder/outfielder who hits from both sides of the plate, will start at second base and hit in the No. 2 spot in the batting order Wednesday night in the fourth of five games in Cincinnati.

“A switch-hitting hitter that’s been doing really, really well,” Renteria said of Alcantara. “If it seems like it might be a little overwhelming, maybe we’ll make an adjustment (in the order) tomorrow. But there’s nothing wrong with us allowing him an opportunity to be seen in what might be kind of a slot he might be able to fit in as a switch hitter.”

Alcantara has hit .307 with 10 homers, 11 triples, 25 doubles and 62 runs in 89 games for Triple-A Iowa this season. He boasts an .890 OPS with 21 stolen bases in 24 attempts.

“He’s been hitting for power from both sides of the plate,” Renteria said. “He’s been hitting for extra bases, hitting well in terms of average, stealing bases. He’s played some center as well as second. He’s been doing a very nice job.”

The Cubs promoted Alcantara to take the spot of veteran Darwin Barney, who is on the paternity list.

And while Alcantara is up with the big club, even if it's for a short time, he’s going to play.

“He’s going to be here a couple days and he should be in there,” Renteria said. “He’s one of our young prospects and he’ll get a couple of days of playing time. Hopefully he’s able to just enjoy it and be himself. He’s been doing very, very well this season and hopefully he feels comfortable with his teammates here.”

Alcantara was not the only young Cub in the lineup. Right-hander Dallas Beeler, 25, was making his second career start Wednesday night. Beeler made his major league debut in June and allowed four hits and an earned run in a 3-0 loss to Washington. He gave up four hits and struck out six.

“He’ll start for us tonight and then we’ll have that conversation as to how he’s going to proceed,” Renteria said. “But I’m glad to have him here. He did a nice job for us the last time. He looks good, and again, these guys are coming in and they have a very calm presence about them.”

Right-hander Kyle Hendricks will make his major league debut Thursday against the Reds, becoming the third Cubs pitcher to make his big league debut in the last 13 days. Hendricks will follow Beeler (June 28) and Tsuyoshi Wada (Tuesday) in making his debut.

The 24-year-old is 10-5 with a 3.59 ERA in 16 Triple-A starts this season after being named the Cubs' minor league pitcher of the year last season.

Alcantara, Beeler, and Hendricks are part of a growing youth movement expected to lift the last-place Cubs in the coming years.

“We as an organization have to make sure that when any time you give opportunities to young guys that do get a look that they’re ready to be given that opportunity,” Renteria said.