The updates on Jorge Soler get better by the day. And unless there is a setback from Saturday’s workout, Soler is expected to start a rehab assignment with one of the Cubs’ affiliates as early as Monday.
Joe Maddon pointed to Soler beginning a rehab assignment Monday, multiple reports indicated early in the week. Maddon said Soler would not travel with the team to New York following Sunday night’s finale in St. Louis.
As for when he could return to the lineup, Maddon anticipates having his right fielder back before the All-Star break. And reports pointed to the possibility of Soler being able to return by the Marlins’ series at Wrigley (July 3-5). Having Soler will help lengthen the lineup and strengthen the bench at the same time because it could force the front office to go with a 12-man staff until the break with the two off days.
In 49 games before landing on the DL, Soler batted .265/.322/.402 with 12 doubles, a triple and four home runs for a .724 OPS. Soler was making adjustments and hit .288/.336/.423 in the last 28 games he played with eight doubles, two home runs and a .759 OPS.
Jorge Soler started receiving the unnecessary criticism that comes with unrealistic expectations. Maybe the media and fan base will appreciate how good Soler is without focusing on what he is not with only 73 games on his big league resume.
Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer
Theo Epstein on MLB Network Radio
- “We are looking for pitching. And that is not a comfortable place to be.”
- “Starting pitching at this point. We are thin beyond our top 4 guys at the big league level.”
- “Even small depth moves are important to us right now.”
- “Handful or less sellers at the moment.”
- “Cannot take a chance to win for granted.”
- “We are not going to forget who we are all of the sudden.” Said would move prospects if deal makes sense for now and future.
Theo Epstein on 670 The Score
- Starlin Castro “is our shortstop moving forward. No immediate plans to make a position change with him.”
- Starlin Castro has been the Cubs shortstop. Cubs are seven games over .500, no plans to make any changes.
- Epstein said makes a lot of sense for the Cubs to push the envelope and sign as many International free agents as possible.
- With picking lower in the draft and possibly being active in free agency, the Cubs need to make sure there is plenty of talent in the system.
Theo Epstein on ESPN 1000
- Cubs would like to add starting pitching depth more than anything.
- Additions to the bench and bullpen are also possibilities. Epstein pointed out getting a few players back from DL will help the bench
- Rafael Soriano is working his way back into shape. Not on the immediate radar in next week or so. Around the All-Star break is still timetable.
- On Starlin Castro: “It is easy to pick a guy a part. He is judged on hopes and dreams that were made when he was brought up.”
- Castro: “He should be compared to the other 29 shortstops.”
Jed Hoyer on Inside the Clubhouse (670 The Score)
- Right now it is a really slow trade market. Not many players available. Can’t make players available.
- We want to make improvements that not only make sense now but for in the future.
- We will be active. Have to keep in mind how the playoff system is set up.
- Hoyer would not rule out the Cubs trading for a rental player. Not first choice.
- Cubs would rather have players that would control beyond this season. If it made sense would trade for a rental player.
Cubs Rumor Links Corner
• The Sun-Times reported it is time for the Cubs ownership to keep its promise if team plans to contend this year.
• Comcast SportsNet asked, do the Cubs have what it takes to make a big deal for pitching? According to Patrick Mooney, “it doesn’t sound like the Cubs have green-lighted – or completely ruled out a massive investment (Phillies Cole Hamels?) at this point.”
News, Notes and Rumors
• RHP Rafael Soriano is working out at the Cubs’ facility in the Dominican Republic. Soriano is waiting on his visa before he can start pitching in the United States. The Cubs are still operating under the “around the All-Star break” timetable for Soriano. Soriano has an option in his contract that allows him to get out of the deal he signed if he is not in the big leagues at the break. Reports have not indicated how his opt out would be affected if he is not able to obtain a work visa in time.
• Joe Maddon addressed the fatigue issue Saturday. And he thinks Kris Bryant and Addison Russell are “hitting a little wall with the All-Star break on the horizon.” Several of the players look like they could use a breather. The day off will help, so will players coming back from the DL. According to Jesse Rogers, Kris Bryant does not agree with Maddon. “I am not tired at all. I’m 23 years old. Maybe 10 years from now I’ll be tired around this time. I’m not tired at all.”
• Bob Costas plans on meeting with Pedro Strop Sunday to apologize for the comments he made during Friday night’s broadcast. Costas said Saturday what he said was wrong and will apologize directly to Strop and not through the media. ESPN Chicago reported Costas spoke with Strop on Saturday.
• The A’s signed LHP Phil Coke to a minor league contract.
• Kyle Schwarber, like Kris Bryant before him, just gets it.
• The Tribune reported the Cubs rotation troubles exposed once again as Donn Roach falters.
And last, but not least, make sure to check and read Monday’s Down on the Farm Report. There has been a lot of movement in the system over the last few days, recent draft picks making pro debuts and top prospects continuing to produce.
This Day In Cubstory
2010 – The Cubs honored Ron Santo for his 50 years in baseball with the Chicago Cubs
1999 – Hack Wilson is credited with one more RBI in his historic 1930 season. The history books are changed from 190 RBI for Wilson in 1930 to 191 RBI. The missing run batted in was found in a doubleheader between the Cubs and Reds on July 28, 1930 when Charlie Grimm was credited with an extra RBI and Wilson did not receive credit, at the time, for a RBI.
1995 – Cubs traded Rick Wilkins to the Astros for Luis Gonzalez and Scott Servais
1991 – Cubs signed free agent Dave LaPoint
1988 – Cubs held a telephone lottery for 13,000 seats for the first night game scheduled at Wrigley on August 8. More than 1.5 million fans tried to buy seats.
1983 – Cubs signed free agent Rick Reuschel
1979 – Cubs purchased Ken Henderson from the Reds
1972 – Athletics purchased Art Shamsky from the Cubs
1970 – Cubs were swept in a doubleheader in the final games at Forbes Field, 3-2 and 4-1. Forbes Field was the home of the Pirates since 1909.
1968 – Cubs traded Lou Johnson to the Indians for Willie Smith
1964 – Mark Grace, born
1950 – Roy Smalley hit for the cycle and Phil Cavarretta and Andy Pafko homered in a 15-3 victory over the Cardinals at Wrigley Field
1949 – Don Baylor, born
1933 – Billy Herman recorded five hits and set a Major League record with 16 put-outs at second base in a doubleheader, 11 in the first game, as the Cubs swept the Phillies 9-5 and 8-3 at Baker Bowl
1929 – The Cubs hit five home runs, three in the second inning by Hack Wilson, Pat Malone and Rogers Hornsby. The Cubs took over first place with a 9-5 win over the Cardinals at Sportsman’s Park. Wilson hit another home run in the fifth.
1916 – Cubs catcher Bill Fischer set a Major League record by catching all 27 innings of a doubleheader
1910 – Joe Tinker stole home twice as the Cubs beat the Reds 11-1 behind Mordecai Brown at West Side Grounds