7/22 Recap of Cubs moves
* Mike Olt leads all National League rookies with 12 home runs, but he’s also first with 84 strikeouts and was batting .139 after going 0-for-4 Tuesday with three K’s. After the game, Cubs announced they were optioning Olt to Triple-A Iowa. The Cubs need to open a roster spot for pitcher Tsuyoshi Wada, who will be making his second big league start Wednesday against the Padres. Olt, acquired one year ago Tuesday from the Rangers in the Matt Garza deal, went 2-for-35 in June, and was 3-for-25 in 12 games in July. If there’s a plus to the demotion, it’s that he’ll be reunited with Manny Ramirez, who is a player/coach at the Cubs’ Triple-A team, and a former teammate of Olt’s.
* Fans eager for the so-called “core four” to get closer to the big leagues got their wish. On Tuesday, the Cubs announced they were promoting top prospects Jorge Soler and Albert Almora. Soler, 22, was batting .415 at Double-A Tennessee after going 2-for-3 on Tuesday with a triple. The outfielder was limited early this season because of leg injuries. Almora, the Cubs’ No. 1 pick in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft, hit his seventh home run on Tuesday, and was batting .283 with 50 RBIs.
* Darwin Barney was designated for assignment, and Emilio Bonifacio activated from the disabled list Tuesday. Barney, 28, was batting .230 with 10 doubles, two triples, two home runs and 16 RBIs in 72 games this season. He won the Gold Glove in 2012 after tying a Major League single-season record with 141-consecutive errorless games. But his offense has not been able to keep up with his defensive skills. He batted .254 in 2012, and .208 last season. Since making his big league debut with the Cubs in 2010, Barney has batted .244 with 88 doubles, 18 home runs and 146 RBI in 542 games.
– Carrie Muskat