Results tagged ‘ Jorge Soler ’
* Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta will likely make one more Minor League rehab start before he’s ready to rejoin the big league team. Arrieta, slowed this spring by tightness in his right shoulder, made his fourth rehab start on Monday for Class A Daytona and threw 94 pitches over 5 2/3 innings.
“I felt really good,” he said Tuesday at Wrigley Field. “I was uncomfortable throughout the first couple [innings] but settled in nicely as things went on and started to feel like I knew how to get some of those guys out. I got to 94 pitches and that was where the mark was and I feel really good today.”
The last outing of Spring Training for starting pitchers is usually a shorter one, and that’s where Arrieta is in his progression. With Arrieta still needing time to rehab, Carlos Villanueva will stay in the rotation, manager Rick Renteria said.
* Jose Veras had a long side session with bullpen coach Lester Strode on Tuesday as the Cubs try to get the right-hander back on track to resume his role as the closer.
“He needs to pitch,” manager Rick Renteria said of Veras. “He wants to get back out there on the hill and throw. We’ll do everything we can to get him some work.”
One of the problems with Veras may be that he isn’t warming up well, which is why Strode was working with the right-hander.
“I’m sure we haven’t seen the very best of him,” Renteria said of Veras. “We do want to get him back and we’ll do everything we can to put him in the game and get him to throw.”
* Theo Epstein supported Renteria’s decision to call a team meeting after last Friday’s game.
“It’s a matter of striking the right balance between keeping an even keel and also being attentive when our standards slip in certain areas,” Epstein said. “It’s always a tricky balance but Ricky has a good feel for the pulse of the team and isn’t afraid to address things as they come up.”
Epstein and Renteria know they have to be careful as to when they time the sessions.
“You can’t call meetings after every frustrating game or series,” Epstein said. “It’s a matter of striking the right balance.”
* Cubs prospect Jorge Soler, sidelined with a sore right hamstring, is rehabbing at the team’s complex in Mesa, Ariz., and doing some baseball activities. However, Soler is not ready to play in games in extended Spring Training. Soler appeared in one game for Double-A Tennessee and hit a double, then had to leave the game because of the hamstring injury. The Cubs will take their time to avoid having Soler aggravate the injury.
— Carrie Muskat
* Cubs top prospect Jorge Soler had to leave his Minor League season opener Thursday after he hit a double because of a sore left hamstring. Soler doubled in the first inning for Double-A Tennessee off Mat Latos, who was making a rehab start for Pensacola. Soler was limited to 55 games at Class A Daytona last season because of a strained left calf.
“It sounds like the exact same injury,” Cubs GM Jed Hoyer said Friday. “He maybe rushed back too early to get ready for Opening Day or maybe it’s a coincidence. He hits a double in the gap against Latos and it’s a shame that’s the way his season started out. Hopefully, we’ll get good news and he’ll be back on the field soon.”
Soler was to have an MRI on his leg either Friday or Saturday, Hoyer said.
* Hoyer would not say whether the Cubs are still talking to Jeff Samardzija about a contract extension, or if the team would discuss anything this season.
“We’ll keep that in house,” Hoyer said. “In general, it’s up to the player [whether to talk in-season]. We don’t have any problem negotiating in season. I don’t have to hit a fastball or throw a strike. It doesn’t bother me or [president of baseball operations Theo Epstein], but if he or his agent thinks it’ll influence a performance at all, then we don’t do it. We take it on a case by case basis.”
* Cubs pitcher Carlos Villanueva threw a bullpen on Friday in preparation for what he feels will be his first start on Sunday. The right-hander was eager to get back on the mound.
“I threw a bullpen and I told [pitching coach Chris] Bosio, ‘I wish I could pitch today,'” Villanueva said. “I feel really good today.”
Villanueva took the loss in the Cubs’ first two games Monday and Wednesday, pitching in relief. His start on Sunday was in question because of the workload and manager Rick Renteria said he would talk with Bosio to go over their options. As far as Villanueva is concerned, he’s starting in the series finale against the Phillies.
“I’m in on Sunday,” Villanueva said. “Unless, they tell me otherwise, I’m in.”
— Carrie Muskat
* Starlin Castro may have only played three Cactus League games, but that was enough to convince Cubs manager Rick Renteria to insert the shortstop into the No. 3 spot in the Opening Day lineup.
“Wherever he puts me, I’ll try to do my job,” said Castro, who missed time because of a right hamstring strain suffered March 2.
Renteria wanted speed at the top of the lineup and went with Emilio Bonifacio and Junior Lake ahead of Castro, who also could lead off in games.
“I think I have some flexibility with the guys,” Renteria said.
* Justin Ruggiano did not start Monday against the Pirates’ Francisco Liriano because of a tender left ankle.
“He had a sore ankle at end of spring and we’re just trying to make sure we give him one more day and then we have a day off [Tuesday] and he’ll be ready to go the following day,” Renteria said.
* Top prospects Kris Bryant and Jorge Soler will open the season at Double-A Tennessee. Soler, however, will be slowed because of a sore hamstring. Arodys Vizcaino, who is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow, was assigned to Class A Daytona to take advantage of the warm weather. Vizcaino will be on a structured program for the first month.
— Carrie Muskat
The Cubs made the first roster cuts of spring on Wednesday. Arismendy Alcantara, Logan Watkins, Jorge Soler and Matt Szczur were optioned to the Minor League camp. Kris Bryant, Jeudy Valdez, Albert Almora, Carlos Pimentel and Eric Jokisch were assigned to the Minor League camp. Outfielder Aaron Cunningham was granted his release. The Cubs now have 56 players in camp.
Alcantara, Watkins, and Szczur were optioned to Triple-A Iowa; Soler was optioned to Double-A Tennessee.
Bryant, the second player selected overall last June, hit a home run in his first spring at-bat, and was 2-for-9 in seven Cactus League games. His other hit also was a home run. Almora, the Cubs’ first-round pick in 2012, had appeared in six games, and was 5-for-9. Soler, coming back from a leg injury last season, was 2-for-8 in eight games.
“We’re glad they’re Cubbies,” Renteria said of the top trio. “They’ve shown their ability to be professionals here in terms of how they carried themselves, some of the performances they had in the course of the spring. Now it’s time for them to get down there and start getting more at-bats and start getting ready for the regular season for themselves and continue to develop and improve on their skill sets. It’s like anything, all players are a little disappointed, but they know there’s a reason and purpose for what we do.”
Bryant, Almora and Soler handled themselves well in big league camp, and often had more interview requests than the veteran players on the Cubs roster.
“They showed maturity beyond their age, the way they deal with people, the way they deal with the press, the way they interact with teammates,” Renteria said. “It was pretty good.”
— Carrie Muskat
The Cubs travel to Goodyear on Saturday to face the Reds. Jason Hammel, a free agent who signed with the team shortly before camp opened, will get the start and also a chance to swing the bat. The Cubs tweaked the lineup, and will not use the designated hitter on Saturday. Plus, Mike Olt is now starting at first base in place of Chris Valaika, who played nine innings on Friday. The game will be broadcast on Cubs.com. Here’s the lineup:
— Carrie Muskat
The 15 prospects taking part in the Cubs’ Rookie Development Program took a break from their baseball studies to attend a Blackhawks’ game on Tuesday. For many of them, it was their first NHL game, and also a chance to see how rabid Chicago fans are about their team.
“Being at the stadium and watching all the people go crazy during the national anthem, that was awesome,” pitcher Pierce Johnson said Wednesday of the rousing performance before every home Blackhawks game. “I can just imagine what it’ll be like when we turn it around and actually win a World Series. I’m excited. It gives me chills.”
The Cubs are counting on the talent participating in this week’s program to get them that championship.
Joining Johnson were pitchers Kyle Hendricks, Neil Ramirez, Eric Jokisch, C.J. Edwards, Armando Rivero and Arodys Vizcaino; outfielders Albert Almora, Jorge Soler and Rubi Silva; and infielders Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, Christian Villanueva, Mike Olt, and Arismendy Alcantara. Eleven of the players rank among the Cubs’ top 20 prospects, according to MLB.com. Hendricks, who completed his economics degree at Dartmouth, was the Cubs’ 2013 Minor League Pitcher of the Year.
The week-long program includes drills, a hospital visit, and seminars, and will end with the Cubs Convention this weekend. The guest speakers included Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts, Theo Epstein, manager Rick Renteria and former player Rick Sutcliffe.
“It prepares us for what’s coming,” Almora said. “They’re teaching us about what to get ready for, what to expect, what they expect from us. We’re taking it to heart, we’re taking notes. We’re in this for the long run.”
* Jason McLeod, head of scouting and player development, said Baez will open the season at Triple-A Iowa along with Villanueva and Alcantara. Bryant could be at Double-A Tennessee, and it was still to be determined where Almora and Soler will start the year.
* Two of the five Cubs prospects injured in a car accident Jan. 6 in the Dominican Republic remained hospitalized. Kevin Encarnacion and Jose Zapata were both doing well but still receiving treatment. Encarnacion played at Class A Boise last year.
* Jorge Soler is 100 percent healthy after a leg injury shortened his season. Soler played in the Arizona Fall League but was told to take it easy, McLeod said. The outfielder has been impressive in his approach at the plate. On Wednesday, Soler said he missed too many games last year, and was eager to get back to playing.
* C.J. Edwards is trying to gain weight. At the Blackhawks game, the skinny pitcher ate an Italian sausage, cheese fries, and a hot dog with cheese on it. Said Edwards: “Anything I see, I eat.”
* Javy Baez knows fans are clamoring for him to get to the big leagues. He’s doing everything he can but everyone wants to know when.
“As soon as possible,” he said.
— Carrie Muskat
Fifteen of the Cubs top prospects are taking part in the Rookie Development Program this week, and had a workout on Wednesday at Northwestern University. Among the players taking part are infielders Javy Baez, Kris Bryant, Mike Olt, Christian Villanueva, and Arismendy Alcantara; outfielders Albert Almora, Jorge Soler and Rubi Silva; and pitchers Pierce Johnson, Neil Ramirez, Eric Jokisch, Kyle Hendricks, C.J. Edwards, Armando Rivero and Arodys Vizcaino. The week is filled with seminars plus the players had a chance to watch Tuesday night’s Blackhawks’ NHL game.
Jason McLeod, Cubs player development and scouting director, did say Baez would open at Triple-A Iowa and Bryant most likely at Double-A Tennessee.
I’ll have more from the workout a little later today.
— Carrie Muskat
Cubs prospect Dallas Beeler gave up one run on two hits over five innings and struck out five but it wasn’t good enough as Surprise beat Mesa 2-0 to win the Arizona Fall League Championship on Saturday. The only run off Beeler came in the second when Henry Urrutia doubled with two outs and scored on Jorge Alfaro’s single to center. Cubs prospects Kris Bryant and Jorge Soler were a combined 0-for-7 for Mesa, which totaled five hits in the game, played in Scottsdale.
Beeler, 24, was a 41st round pick in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft out of Oral Roberts University. This season, he was 4-2 in nine starts for Double-A Tennessee, compiling a 3.13 ERA, and striking out 35 over 54 2/3 innings while walking 17.
— Carrie Muskat
The Mesa Solar Sox clinched the East Division and reached the Arizona Fall League Championship Game with a 9-3 win Thursday over the Glendale Desert Dogs. Jorge Soler had two hits and Kris Bryant scored three runs for Mesa, which finished 19-11-1. Bryant went 1-for-3 and posted a .364 average. The Solar Sox will play the Surprise Saguaros on Saturday in Scottsdale for the AFL Championship.