Cubs roster moves:
* Jorge Soler and Logan Watkins recalled from Triple-A Iowa. Ryan Sweeney placed on 15-day disabled list with a left hamstring strain; Justin Ruggiano placed on 15-day disabled list with left ankle inflammation, retro to Aug. 23.
Junior Lake hit his second home run but it wasn’t enough as Iowa lost, 5-3, to Tacoma. Dan Straily took the loss, giving up four earned runs on 10 hits over five innings. Lake finished 2-for-3 with a double and two RBI.
Pierce Johnson gave up three runs over six innings in Tennessee’s 6-5 loss to Jacksonville. Albert Almora hit a double and a triple. The Smokies are tied for first in the North Division.
Bijan Rademacher hit his 10th home run in Daytona’s 6-5 win over Dunedin. Rob Zastryzny gave up four runs over five innings, striking out nine. Rademacher hit a home run and two doubles.
Duane Underwood gave up one run over 5 1/3 innings in Kane County’s 6-1 win over Burlington. It was the Cougars’ 88th win, tying a franchise record. Shawon Dunston Jr. drove in two runs.
Kevin Brown had two hits, including a triple, and scored two runs in Boise’s 4-2 loss to Everett. Joshua Conway threw three scoreless innings.
Carson Sands gave up three runs over three innings in Mesa’s 8-3 loss to the Dodgers. Sands struck out four.
Anthony Rizzo was not in the Cubs lineup Wednesday. He came out of Tuesday’s game because of tightness in his lower back, and apparently his back tightened up overnight. Rizzo’s status is day to day.
– Carrie Muskat
Jorge Soler is starting in right field and batting fifth Wednesday night for the Cubs in Game 2 of their three-game series against the Reds. Soler will be the eighth Cubs player to make his Major League debut this season. Jacob Turner makes his first start. Anthony Rizzo is not in the lineup. He came out of Tuesday’s game because of lower back tightness. Here’s the lineup:
With the Cubs season winding down, it will be time to rev up the Cubs Inbox. Send questions to CubsInbox@gmail.com:
Q: How is Mike Olt doing in Triple-A? His stats look good. — James D., New Orleans
A: Right now, Olt is on Iowa’s disabled list because of a strained left hamstring. In 28 games with Iowa, he was batting .302 with nine doubles, seven home runs and 24 RBIs, striking out 33 times. His slash line is .302/.348/.585. Compare that to his numbers with the big league team: .139/.222/.353, when he hit 12 home runs in 72 games.
Tacoma beat Iowa, 5-3, on Tuesday, but the I-Cubs playoff hopes are still alive. Omaha lost Tuesday, but Oklahoma City won to take over sole possession of first in the American Northern Division. With five games left to play, the Cubs are four games behind the RedHawks. The I-Cubs and RedHawks play head-to-head for the final four games of the regular season, starting on Friday night at Principal Park in Des Moines.
On Tuesday, Kris Bryant hit a RBI single in the first, but that was the only run off spot-starter Andrew Carraway through five innings. Carraway (8-5) was a last minute replacement when scheduled starter Erasmo Ramirez was scratched. Dan Straily (7-8) took the loss after giving up five runs (four earned) on 10 hits, three walks over five innings. He struck out six.
Junior Lake hit a two-run homer in the eighth, and doubled in the sixth. He has scored at least one run in seven straight games. Brian Schlitter worked one scoreless inning in relief and Jeff Antigua finished with two scoreless innings for the I-Cubs.
Dae-Eun Rhee gets the start in the series finale on Wednesday.
Manager Rick Renteria said Jorge Soler will likely bat fifth or sixth on Wednesday and make his Major League debut in right field.
“I think it’s pretty exciting for the whole organization,” Renteria said Tuesday about Soler’s promotion. “A young man that has been talked about quite a bit will be joining us tomorrow, and everybody’s pretty excited about it. Their teammates are excited about it, so we’ll see how it goes.”
Why promote him on the road?
“Just getting their feet wet — I couldn’t say if it’s detrimental or advantageous one way or the other,” Renteria told reporters in Cincinnati. “I think they’re still coming out here to play the game of baseball. So I think they’re more concerned about what they’ve got to do between the lines.”
Why was Soler promoted before Sept. 1?
“I’m sure that the organization feels that he’s been moving along and that they’d like to get him up here to start experiencing some big league baseball, kind of get his feet wet and kind of chip away and see how he goes,” Renteria said.
Soler is the second member of the so-called “core four” to be promoted to the big leagues, joining Javier Baez.
“The development system, we’re very proud of, because they’ve had a lot of these guys and they’ve done a good job with them,” Renteria said. “And when they get here, we’re very comfortable when they get here. Just like everything, once a guy breaks into the big leagues, they have hiccups; it could be just about anything. But we’re hoping they’ll be able to handle both successes and failures as best as they can.”
Jorge Soler hit a three-run homer in the third and Jonathan Mota added a home run in Iowa’s 8-0 win over Tacoma. The Iowa pitching staff posted its 14th shutout, tops in the league. Eric Jokisch, Alberto Cabrera also pitched. Soler is 11-for-20 with 10 RBIs in his last five games. Junior Lake also had a single and double.
C.J. Edwards gave up one run on one hit over five innings in Tennessee’s 2-1 loss to Jacksonville. Edwards struck out eight.
Daytona lost, 8-7, to Dunedin. Gioskar Amaya and Bijan Rademacher both homered. For Amaya, he finished with seven total bases, adding a triple.
Yasiel Balaguert and Jeffrey Baez hit back to back home runs in the seventh to lead Kane County to an 8-3 win over Burlington. Jeimer Candelario had three singles.
Trevor Clifton threw seven shutout innings in Boise’s 3-0 win over Everett. Clifton struck out three and gave up six hits.
Kane County’s Mark Johnson was named the Midwest League manager of the year on Monday. Johnson has guided the Cougars to an 86-46 record this season, the best mark among all Major League and Minor League teams.
The Cougars are three wins away from breaking the mark for most regular season wins in franchise history. Entering play Monday, there were eight games remaining. Under Johnson, the Class A team clinched the Western Division first half championship and will play in September’s Midwest League playoffs as the top seed.
Johnson has had to deal with plenty of roster turnover. The Cougars have lost 15 of the 25 players on their April Opening Day roster. This is his fourth season as a manager in the Cubs’ system. Johnson made his Kane County managerial debut last season and prior to that, skippered the Short-A Boise Hawks in 2011 and 2012. The ’12 Hawks advanced to the Northwest League Championship Series. Johnson enjoyed 17 professional seasons (1994-2010) on the field including 332 Major League games with the Chicago White Sox, Oakland Athletics, Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals.
Double-A Tennessee outfielder Jae-Hoon Ha has been transferred from the Smokies to Triple-A Iowa. In 117 games with Tennessee this season, the 23-year-old posted a .226 average (98-434), adding five homers and 49 RBI, the latter ranking second on the team overall this year.
In a corresponding move, outfielder Rubi Silva has been activated from the disabled list. Prior to being placed on the DL on June 29, Silva, 24, was batting .256 with six homers and 38 RBI in 74 games.
In addition, right-handed reliever P.J. Francescon has been placed on the DL, retroactive to Aug. 24. In 43 appearances for Tennessee during the 2014 campaign, Francescon has compiled an 11-6 record and 3.52 ERA (27 ER in 69 IP).
In a corresponding move, catcher Luis Flores has been activated from the DL. He was batting .273 (27-for-99), hitting three homers and driving in 13 runs in 31 games.