6/21 Extra Minor matters
* Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler, eligible to come off the disabled list Friday after being sidelined with a sore left shin, was still experiencing some discomfort and not expected to return to the Class A Daytona lineup for a few more days.
“He was sore there and that’s why he didn’t play in the [Florida State League] All-Star Game, and we thought it would be best to rest him for a few days, and hopefully, it’ll be another day or two,” said Jason McLeod, vice president, scouting and player development for the Cubs.
Soler, ranked No. 3 among the Cubs’ top 20 prospects, was batting .281 with eight home runs, 13 doubles and one triple in 55 games with Daytona.
Some other updates:
* Josh Vitters, who was rehabbing in Mesa, Ariz., at the Cubs’ complex, apparently had a setback and there’s no timetable for the third baseman’s return, McLeod said. Vitters, 23, on Triple-A Iowa’s disabled list, was batting .270 in 19 games.
“He’s battling some nicks and bruises,” McLeod said of Vitters, the Cubs’ No. 1 Draft pick in 2007. “It’s been a tough year for him. He’s a kid who, because of where he was picked in the Draft, you tend to think this guy is 25 years old or something, but he’s still fairly young. Hopefully, he can salvage the second half and get out on the field.”
* Speaking of the Draft, McLeod said most of the college kids will go to Class A Boise, rather than play in the Arizona Rookie League, which gets underway Friday.
* Pierce Johnson, a first-round pick in the 2012 Draft, was recently promoted from Class A Kane County to Daytona, but McLeod said they’ll give the right-hander a little break.
“He certainly earned [the promotion],” McLeod said of Johnson. “He’s at about 70 innings right now, and looking at what we have planned for him for the year, we thought it would be a good challenge for him. We’ll use the All-Star break and where we’re slotting him to give him a little breather. He probably won’t start another five, six days, which will give him, in essence, a skipped start.”
Johnson was 5-5 with a 3.10 ERA in 13 starts for Kane County, striking out 74 over 69 2/3 innings.
* McLeod also said Cuban pitcher Gerardo Concepcion is not likely to pitch this summer because of back problems. The target date, McLeod said, was instructional league in the fall.
– Carrie Muskat