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Cubs rookie Arismendy Alcantara avoids minor-league demotion with huge game

Arismendy Alcantara knew the plan.

The Chicago Cubs had called him up from Triple-A to play exactly two games. He was a fill-in while regular second baseman Darwin Barney was on paternity leave, then it was back to the minors. 

But Alcantara, 22, the seventh-ranked prospect in the Cubs farm system, made it tough for the Cubs to keep their word. He went 4-for-5 on Thursday with three RBIs and two runs scored, forcing the Cubs to change their plans. He'll stay with the big-league team until at least the All-Star break.

Alcantara's first MLB hit was a two-run double, making up for his 0-for-4 day in his MLB debut Wednesday. By the end of Thursday, he was just a homer shy of the cycle with two singles, a double and a triple. The Cubs won 6-4 in extra innings, gathering 10 hits. So it's hard to demote the guy responsible for half the team's offense.

Plus, it's hard to ignore the upside. Alcantara hit .307 with 10 homers and 41 RBIs in Triple-A this season. Barney's only hitting .224 with two homers and 16 RBIs in 70 games. 

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As good as performance was, Alcantara said after the game he was surprised that the Cubs are keeping him. He told Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times:

‘‘More or less,’’ he said, smiling. ‘‘It’s like I said [Wednesday]. I just tried to think, ‘Do your job and play the game and see what happens.’ Today I felt more comfortable because I played yesterday.’’

The Cubs appear to be stacked for the future with Kris Bryant, Javier Baez and Addison Russell waiting in the wings. Even if Alcantara doesn't stay up much longer, he, at the very least, gave Cubs fans an exciting glimpse into the future.

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Mike Oz is an editor for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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