The Cubs begin a three-game series Friday night (9:05pm CDT) in Oakland. Jon Lester is on the hill facing lefty Dillion Overton. And there will be a familiar face in the Cubs’ starting lineup.
Jorge Soler is back and will hit sixth for Joe Maddon tonight. Soler will be the Cubs’ designated hitter. The Cubs designated Joe Nathan for assignment to make room on the active roster for Jorge Soler according to ESPN Chicago.
Dexter Fowler is leading off in center. Kris Bryant is in left field. Addison Russell and Javier Baez are manning the left side of the infield.
Cubs batting order: Dexter Fowler CF, Kris Bryant LF, Anthony Rizzo 1B, Ben Zobrist 2B, Addison Russell SS, Jorge Soler DH, Jason Heyward RF, Javier Baez 3B, David Ross C … and Jon Lester P
Jorge Soler has been on the DL almost two months to the day. The Cubs placed Soler on the 15-day DL on June 7 with a left hamstring strain. And the injury could not have happened at a worse time for him or the Cubs. Soler was batting .308/.438/.590 in the 15 games prior to the hamstring injury that cost him two months of the season.
In 50 games, Soler had a .223/.322/.377 line with five doubles and five home runs for a .699 OPS. Against lefties, Soler was hitting .250/.339/.346 with two doubles and a home run for a .685 OPS.
With Double-A Tennessee, Soler went 5-for-30 with 11 walks and 11 strikeouts (.167/.381/.167) for a .548 OPS in nine games. Soler was a combined 3-for-7 with three walks in the last two rehab games he played.
Joe Maddon will begin the game with Miguel Montero, Willson Contreras, Chris Coghlan and Matt Szczur on the bench.