6/4 Extra bases
* Jorge Soler, sidelined since mid-May with a right hamstring strain, is rehabbing at the Cubs’ complex in Mesa, Ariz., and GM Jed Hoyer said they hope the outfielder has a chance to talk hitting with the team’s new player-coach, Manny Ramirez. Soler, ranked No. 5 on MLB.com’s list of top 20 Cubs prospects, is doing agility work and hitting in the batting cages. He was not playing in extended Spring Training games. On Wednesday, Ramirez did play, and hit a home run in Tempe. Ramirez was expected to join Triple-A Iowa, possibly by the weekend. The Cubs haven’t asked Ramirez to talk to Soler, but Hoyer hoped the two players would chat.
“I think Manny can help any right-handed hitter for sure,” Hoyer said.
* The Cubs will hold a news conference on Thursday to announce their new radio contract with WBBM-AM 780, effective next year.
* According to Elias, the Cubs’ win Tuesday snapped a 17-game home losing streak when trailing after one inning. That had been tied for the team’s longest such skid in team history, previously done during the 1965-66 and 1974-75 campaigns. Also, Tuesday’s win was the team’s first this season when trailing entering the eighth inning. Last year, the Cubs were 7-76 when trailing entering the eighth inning.
* The First-Year Player Draft will begin at 6 p.m. CT, with the Cubs holding the No. 4 pick. They are expected to make their selection just before 6:30 p.m. The Cubs also have the 45th overall selection in round two. Rounds 3-10 of the draft take place Friday while the event finishes up with rounds 11-40 on Saturday.
The Cubs active roster has 10 players originally selected within the first five rounds of the Draft, including three taken in the first supplemental round (Chris Coghlan by Miami in 2006, Neil Ramirez by Texas in 2007 and Mike Olt by Texas in 2010). Nate Schierholtz and Travis Wood were second round
selections, John Baker and Darwin Barney were fourth round picks, and Jake Arrieta, Justin Grimm and Jeff Samardzija were fifth round selections.
– Carrie Muskat