The Cubs announced this afternoon they’ve selected the contract of infielder Sergio Alcántara. He’ll replace David Bote, who is headed to the 10-day injured list, on the active roster. To clear 40-man roster space, righty Tyson Miller has been designated for assignment.
Originally signed by the Diamondbacks as an international amateur, Alcántara was traded to the Tigers as part of the 2017 deal that sent J.D. Martinez to the desert. The utilityman made a brief MLB debut with Detroit last season, picking up 23 plate appearances, but the Tigers designated him for assignment over the offseason. Chicago claimed Alcántara and then passed him through outright waivers themselves.
Alcántara has begun his tenure in the Cubs organization on a tear. He’s hitting .328/.481/.459 with a pair of homers over his first 79 plate appearances at Triple-A Iowa, his first crack at the minors’ highest level. That’s a substantial improvement over the decent but unspectacular .261/.340/.317 line he’s managed over 872 career plate appearances at Double-A. Alcántara is out of minor league option years, so now that he’s back on the Cubs 40-man roster, he’ll have to stick with the big league club or again be exposed to other teams. For now, he’ll get an opportunity to fill in for Bote, who separated his left shoulder in yesterday’s game.
Miller, ranked by Baseball America over the winter as the #27 prospect in the Cubs system, made a pair of MLB appearances in 2020. He tossed five innings of three-run ball, representing his only major league experience to date. Miller has managed just a 7.33 ERA over 54 career Triple-A innings, but he’s generally been productive up through Double-A. The Cubs will have a week to trade Miller or place him on outright waivers. The 25-year-old still has a pair of option years remaining, so any acquiring club would be free to shuttle him back-and-forth between the majors and Triple-A this season and next, assuming they believe he’s worthy of a 40-man roster spot.