The Cubs could be close to getting an important piece of the puzzle back in the lineup. Jorge Soler reported to Triple-A Iowa and starts a rehab assignment Monday. And Soler is actually batting third and playing right field for the I-Cubs.
Joe Maddon would not give a timetable Sunday on how long Soler will need in Iowa before he is ready to be activated. The Cubs’ skipper said he does not think Soler is too far off and reports suggested Soler could return to the Cubs lineup by the upcoming weekend series with the Marlins.
Soler has been doing “a lot of baseball activity,” including taking batting practice according to Maddon.
The Cubs are hoping Jorge Soler can provide a jolt to an offense that has really struggled over the last week.
Joe Maddon said the Cubs have to get back their “offensive mojo” after dropping their fifth game in a row. Maddon warned in the spring that a losing streak, like the one the Cubs are in, could happen. The players the Cubs are leaning on for production are learning at the highest level.
Maddon pointed out the Cubs inexperience really showed up this past week.
Without making too many excuses, the Cubs ran into the Dodgers and Cardinals at the end of a stretch of 20 games in 20 days. Even with getting to New York in time to see the sunrise, the Cubs should benefit from the day off before playing 10 games in nine days.
Even with the five-game skid, the Cubs are 1 1/2 out of the second Wild Card spot in the National League trailing only the Giants. Due to playing in the same division with a team winning games at an historic rate, the Cubs are double digits out of first place. In the NL East, at 39-35, the Cubs would be right behind the 42-34 Nationals. And in the West, the Cubs would be looking up at the Giants (42-35) and Dodgers (43-34).
The Cubs had a bad weekend in St. Louis and got schooled as ESPN reported. Perspective is always important, even in baseball.
Pedro Strop met with Bob Costas Sunday at the team’s hotel in St. Louis. Costas apologized to Strop for the comments he made during Friday night’s broadcast.
Strop explained when he found out what Costas said he felt really bad.
Pedro Strop told the beat writers he accepted Costas’ apology after not initially wanting to talk to him. Strop said, “We all make mistakes, I’m not going to judge him just because he made a mistake.”
Cubs Rumors Links Corner
• The Cubs are waiting for the trade market to accelerate according to Comcast SportsNet. Patrick Mooney also asked the question, is it safe to assume the Cubs will be buyers instead of sellers at the deadline after being swept in St. Louis?
• ESPN Chicago reported the Cubs know their needs, but that is just half the battle.
News, Notes and Rumors
• Buster Olney’s top 10 for the week: Cardinals, Royals, Pirates, Astros, Nationals, Rays, Dodgers, Giants, Yankees and Blue Jays.
• Mike Olt is ready to play any position and do what he can to help the Cubs win games according to the Des Moines Register. Olt saw time at first base over the weekend and is hitting .286/.318/.571 in six games (6-for-21). Olt has three doubles, a home run, a walk, seven strikeouts and a .890 OPS with the I-Cubs.
• Gleyber Torres: .319/.385/.411 with 11 doubles, three triples, two home runs, 27 walks, 59 strikeouts and a .796 OPS.
• Ian Happ: .278/.372/.583 (10-for-36) with two doubles, three home runs, six walks, 10 strikeouts and a .955 OPS in 10 games.
• RHP Donn Roach will be available out of the bullpen in the first two games of the Mets’ series. The Cubs have not decided who will start Saturday against the Marlins and have not ruled out giving Roach another chance in the rotation. Jason Hammel is scheduled to pitch the opener on Friday afternoon.
This Day In Cubstory
2011 – Cubs released Doug Davis
2007 – Aramis Ramirez hit an improbable two-run walk off homer in the bottom of the ninth against Brewers’ closer Francisco Cordero and gave the Cubs a 6-5 win over Milwaukee. The Cubs were down 5-0 after the top of the first and never quit on a Friday afternoon at Wrigley Field.
2005 – Cubs released Joe Borowski
1988 – Brooks Raley, born
1970 – Cubs signed free agent Al Spangler
1970 – Braves purchased Jimmie Hall from the Cubs
1969 – Billy Williams Day at Wrigley Field. 41,060 saw Williams collect five hits in a doubleheader sweep over the Cardinals, 3-1 and 12-1. Williams passed Stan Musial as the National League’s All-Time Iron Man by playing in his 895th and 896th consecutive games.
1952 – Trailing the Reds 8-2 with two outs in the ninth and nobody on bases, the Cubs rallied for seven runs and a 9-8 victory over the Reds at Crosley Field. Ex-Red Johnny Pramesa drove in the winning run.
1951 – Bruce Kimm, born
1935 – Gabby Harnett went 4-for-4 and drove in the game winners in a 2-1 victory over the Pirates.
1909 – Cubs played the Pirates in their last game at Exposition Park and lost to Pittsburgh 8-1. The Pirates began play at Forbes Field the next day in baseball’s first stadium to be built with concrete and steel.
1897 – The Chicago National League Ballclub scored in every inning in route to a 36-7 victory over Louisville at West Side Grounds. The Cubs collected 30 hits, six by Barry McCormick and five by winning pitcher Jimmy Callahan.