Updated 4:48pm CDT – Joe Maddon said Jorge Soler should be out two-three weeks, not the six weeks the Sun-Times reported.
The Cubs announced two roster moves Wednesday. OF Jorge Soler was placed on the 15-day DL and OF/INF Mike Baxter was recalled from Triple-A Iowa.
The Cubs placed Soler on the disabled list with a left ankle sprain. The Cubs have not announced the results from Tuesday’s MRI but he flew to Chicago on Wednesday to undergo further tests with team doctors.
According to a report from the Sun-Times, Jorge Soler is expected to be out about six weeks.
The Cubs made the easy decision and recalled OF/INF Mike Baxter from Triple-A Iowa. Baxter was optioned down to Iowa prior to Tuesday’s game in order to make room on the active roster for OF Matt Szczur. With the injury to Soler, the Cubs could recall Baxter without waiting 10 days.
Additional roster moves should be on the horizon with Jorge Soler reportedly out for an extended period of time.
Jorge Soler had a good start to his season. In 49 games, Soler put together a .265/.322/.402 line with 12 doubles, a triple and four home runs for a .724 OPS. Soler may not have met some expectations set by the media and fan base but he was learning and making adjustments. Soler batted .288/.336/.423 in 28 games in May with eight doubles and two home runs for a .759 OPS.
The 30-year-old Baxter rejoins the Cubs after being optioned to Iowa Tuesday. He first had his contract selected on May 19 and has batted .111 (1-for-9) with a walk in 10 games with the Cubs. Baxter is a career .222 hitter (82-for-369) with four home runs and 26 RBI in 208 major league games covering parts of five seasons with the San Diego Padres (2010), New York Mets (2011-13), Los Angeles Dodgers (2014) and the Cubs (2015). He has played 86 big league games in right field, 40 games in left field and one game in both center field and at first base.
The left-handed hitting Baxter has batted .290 (29-for-100) with four doubles, eight RBI and a .377 on-base percentage in 34 games with Iowa this year, playing 27 games at first base and eight games in left field. He saw his most extensive big league action in 2012 with the Mets when he hit .263 (47-for-179) with 14 doubles, three home runs and 17 RBI in 89 games. Baxter spent most of last season in Triple-A in the Dodgers chain, batting .289 (119-for-412) in 119 games with Albuquerque, and also played in four games with Los Angeles at the big league level.
Mike Baxter is a solid fill-in or a 25th man on the bench of a contending team. With the Cubs carrying 13 pitchers on the active roster, Baxter does not fit the Cubs needs and should be a short-term solution until the front office and coaching staff can decide the next round of roster moves.
The Cubs have dealt with a series of injuries since the beginning of Spring Training. Losing RHP Neil Ramirez for an extended time has weakened the bullpen and not having OF Chris Denorfia and INF Tommy La Stella has given Joe Maddon even fewer options on the bench. The Cubs are going to miss having Jorge Soler in the lineup every day.