Results tagged ‘ Jorge Soler ’

10/6 Extra bases

* Several members of the Cubs’ front office, including Theo Epstein and GM Jed Hoyer, will be in Arizona this week to watch some of the young prospects play in the Arizona Fall League and the instructional league games. The AFL begins Tuesday with the Mesa Solar Sox — or “Soler Sox,” as in Jorge Soler — traveling to Glendale to play the Desert Dogs. Cubs prospects playing for Mesa include Soler, Albert Almora, Kris Bryant, Wes Darvill, Matt Loosen, Dallas Beeler, Lendy Castillo and Armando Rivera.

* Arodys Vizcaino, acquired from the Braves in July 2012 in the Paul Maholm trade, has been rehabbing in Mesa, and was scheduled to throw a live batting practice session on Tuesday, then pitch in instructional league games Oct. 15 and Oct. 18. The right-hander will likely see some action in Winter League play as well.

* Mike Olt, acquired from the Rangers in the Matt Garza deal this year, got some extra swings in at the Cubs complex this past week.

* There’s been a lot of progress made at the Cubs’ new Spring Training complex in west Mesa. It’s nice to see the stadium taking shape, palm trees planted and water in the little lake. The Cubs will leave their Fitch Park facility in November.

– Carrie Muskat

10/3 Gamel, Sveum & AFL roster

Infielder Mat Gamel, who missed the 2013 season because of a torn right anterior cruciate ligament, was claimed off waivers by the Cubs. Gamel, 28, ended the season on the Brewers’ 60-day disabled list, and was transferred to the Cubs’ 60-day DL. A left-handed hitter, he played parts of the previous five seasons with the Brewers (2008-12), posting a .229 batting average with 11 doubles, two triples, six home runs and 29 RBIs in 106 games. He’s played first base, third base, and three games in left.

In his most recent full pro season in 2011, Gamel spent most of the season with Triple-A Nashville where he batted .310 with 29 doubles, 28 home runs and 96 RBIs in 128 games. He made the Brewers’ Opening Day roser in 2012 but suffered a torn right ACL 21 games into the season on May 1 in San Diego. This year, he was expected to fulfill the void created by Corey Hart but reinjured the ligament in Spring Training.

Originally selected by the Brewers in the fourth round of the 2005 Draft, Gamel earned Topps Minor League Player of the Year honors in 2008 after hitting .329 with 35 doubles, seven triples, 19 homers and 96 RBIs in 127 games with Double-A Huntsville. Gamel made his big league debut with Milwaukee near the end of the 2008 season. The Cubs are set at first with Anthony Rizzo but Gamel could see action at third base.

* Dale Sveum wasn’t out of work long. Sveum, who was dismissed as the Cubs manager on Monday, was hired by the Royals to be part of manager Ned Yost’s coaching staff. Sveum will work with the infielders and in-game responsibilities will be announced later. Sveum was a coach on Yost’s staff for three seasons with the Brewers, and replaced him in 2008 for the final 12 games of the season. Milwaukee reached the National League Division Series that year. In two seasons with the Cubs, Sveum compiled a 127-197 record, finishing 66-96 this year and last in the National League Central. The Royals announced the contracts of third base coach Eddie Rodriguez and bench coach Chino Cadahia will not be renewed, and Sveum could fill one of those openings.

* Third baseman Luis Valbuena was recovering this week from a stomach ailment that forced him to miss the Cubs’ last series of the regular season. Valbuena did not travel with the team to St. Louis because of the problem, and was receiving treatment in Chicago.

* The Arizona Fall League gets underway next Tuesday. Among the Cubs prospects playing for the Mesa Solar Sox are outfielders Albert Almora and Jorge Soler, infielders Kris Bryant and Wes Darvill, and right-handed pitchers Dallas Beeler, Matt Loosen, Lendy Castillo and Armando Rivero.

– Carrie Muskat

8/27 Top Cubs prospects in AFL

Fans who can’t wait to see Javier Baez, Albert Almora, Kris Bryant and Jorge Soler play for the Cubs will have their chance in October.

Baez, Almora and Bryant, the Cubs’ first-round picks in the last three First-Year Player Drafts, will join Soler on the Mesa Solar Sox roster and participate in the Arizona Fall League, which begins play Oct. 8. Almora, limited to 61 games with Class A Kane County because of injuries, will be on Mesa’s taxi squad, and play Wednesdays and Sundays.

Other Cubs on the Mesa AFL roster include pitchers Dallas Beeler, Matt Loosen, Armando Rivero and Arodys Vizcaino. Beeler, Loosen and Rivero were pitching for Double-A Tennessee, while Vizcaino, acquired from the Braves in July 2012 in the Paul Maholm deal, has been rehabbing from Tommy John surgery.

It’s been a whirlwind summer for Bryant, the second pick overall in the June Draft. The third baseman, who led the country with 31 home runs at San Diego, began the season at short-season Boise, and batted .354 in 18 games with four home runs, eight doubles and 14 RBIs, and was promoted to Class A Daytona, where he was batting .368 in 10 games with three home runs, three doubles and nine RBIs.

“I’m very excited,” Bryant said. “I don’t much about [the AFL]. I’m new to this whole process, but I know there are lot of good players who have gone to the Fall League. I’m excited I get to continue playing baseball. The games will only help me in my development against some very good competition.”

The Cubs project Bryant, Almora, Baez and Soler to be key pieces in the team’s future. Now, they’ll be teammates.

“That’s huge,” Bryant said about being with the other prospects. “To get to play 30 plus games with these guys, it’ll only help us in the future. Hopefully, we can develop chemistry so heading into next year, we can make things easier for ourselves.”

* This will be Baez’s second turn in the AFL. Last year ended early because of a thumb injury that limited him to 14 AFL games. This season, the 20-year-old shortstop has been on fire. He batted .274 in 76 games with 17 home runs, 19 doubles and 57 RBIs at Class A Daytona, and was batting .308 with 18 home runs, 14 doubles and 48 RBIs in 48 games with Double-A Tennessee.

* Almora, 19, an outfielder, was batting .329 in 61 games with Kane County before being sidelined with a groin injury. Soler, 21, the Cuban outfielder who signed a nine-year, $30 million deal in June 2012, was limited to 55 games because of a stress fracture in his left tibia. He batted .281 with eight home runs and 13 doubles with Daytona before he was hurt.

* Beeler made nine starts at Tennessee before being sidelined in late May when he tore a tendon in the middle finger of his pitching hand.

* Loosen was 5-2 with a 1.83 ERA in nine starts with Daytona, and 2-3 with a 6.53 ERA in 15 games (13 starts) with Tennessee. On Monday, he gave up three hits over seven shutout innings in a win over Mobile.

* Rivero has pitched in relief, appearing in 18 games at Kane County, Daytona and Tennessee combined. The Cuban right-hander has given up 13 earned runs over 27 2/3 innings and struck out 43.

“We’re taking pride in what we’ve done,” said player development and scouting director Jason McLeod. “There’s a lot to be excited about, though it’s in Daytona and in Double-A. But we have the opportunity to get some [impact players] to the big leagues, guys with stuff and tools.”

– Carrie Muskat

8/27 Baez, Almora, Bryant to play in AFL

Javier Baez, Albert Almora and Kris Bryant, the Cubs’ first-round picks in the last three First-Year Player Drafts, will both participate in the Arizona Fall League, which begins play Oct. 8. Almora will be on Mesa’s taxi squad, and play Wednesdays and Sundays. Other Cubs on the Mesa AFL roster include pitchers Dallas Beeler, Matt Loosen, Armando Rivero and Arodys Vizcaino.

“It’s really exciting for us,” said Jason McLeod, Cubs senior vice president of scouting and player development. “Javier has had a great year, and he didn’t get to play as much last year in the AFL because of the injury. Kris is ready to be pushed. Soler was going to go [to make up for lost time]. Albert missed time, so he’ll go to instructs and then the taxi squad, which will be good for him.”

This will be Baez’s second turn in the AFL. Last year ended early because of an injury. This season, the shortstop batted .274 in 76 games with 17 home runs, 19 doubles and 57 RBIs at Class A Daytona, and was batting .308 with 18 home runs, 14 doubles and 48 RBIs in 48 games with Double-A Tennessee.

8/26 AFL rosters

The Arizona Fall League will release the rosters for the 2013 season, and the Cubs will have some star players on the Mesa squad. Jorge Soler, Albert Almora and Kris Bryant are all expected to participate in the AFL, which begins Oct. 8. Soler and Almora have missed time this season because of injuries, so the extra at-bats will benefit them.

8/13 Extra bases

* Top prospect Jorge Soler, sidelined since June 14 with a stress fracture in his left tibia, most likely will not rejoin Class A Daytona this season, but still could play in the Arizona Fall League. Soler, 21, was examined Monday in Mesa, Ariz., where he is rehabbing, and the test results were sent to Chicago. Theo Epstein said the early reports show that Soler still needs time to heal and his leg will remain in a boot. The Arizona Fall League begins Oct. 8.

* First-round pick Kris Bryant and Dan Vogelbach, a second-round selection in 2011, were both promoted to Class A Daytona, with Bryant making the biggest leap from short-season Boise.

“In Bryant’s case, we wanted him to shake the rust off in short-season ball and get him adjusted to what life in pro baseball is like,” Epstein said. “He started out a little rough, that 0-for-5 [in first game with] five [strikeouts], but it was just a matter of getting his timing back. For the last week or so he’s just been locked in. … He had nothing much left to do at that level.”

Bryant, ranked No. 4 among the Cubs’ top 20 prospects, was named the Northwest League Player of the Week on Monday, going 9-for-17 with three doubles, one triple, a home run and five RBIs in five games.

The Cubs wanted Jeimer Candelario to continue to get regular playing time at third base at low A Kane County, plus Daytona is headed for the playoffs, which is also why Bryant was added along with Vogelbach, ranked No. 11 on the Cubs’ top 20 prospects list.

“[Vogelbach] has been pretty consistent driving the baseball and getting on base and he’s working hard on his defense,” Epstein said. “We felt it made sense for him to move up at this time.”

* Epstein, GM Jed Hoyer, and Dale Sveum will meet soon to discuss possible September call-ups.

“We don’t want to clutter the locker room with people who aren’t going to play but [add] people who we want to see and get their feet wet and get some playing time before next season,” Sveum said.

* There are no plans to have Junior Lake play anywhere but outfield with the Cubs for the rest of this season. Lake came up as an infielder, but when he was called up from Triple-A Iowa, he was inserted into the outfield because of injuries.

“Right now, with our personnel, he’s not playing third base,” Sveum said.

* Scott Baker begins his second rehab stint, with hopes of getting into a Major League game next month. Baker is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery. Rain interrupted his scheduled starts.

“The only limitation is health,” Epstein said.

– Carrie Muskat

8/12 Extra bases

* The Cubs will salute Hall of Famer Ernie Banks prior to Tuesday’s game against the Reds at Wrigley Field. Banks has been named a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Billy Williams, Banks’ teammate on the Cubs and a fellow Hall of Famer, will introduce Banks on Tuesday. The festivities were expected to begin around 6:50 p.m. CT. before the Cubs face the Reds at 7:05 p.m. CT.

No date has been set as to when Banks will receive the honor from President Barack Obama. The Medal of Freedom, established in 1963 by President John F. Kennedy, is the highest honor awarded to civilians in the United States.

* Scott Baker, rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, threw a bullpen on Monday and was expected to begin another rehab assignment starting Wednesday at Class A Daytona. The right-hander made three starts at low A Kane County, then one with Daytona, and weather interfered with his next outing. His longest start was 3 1/3 innings on July 29.

* Jorge Soler, sidelined with a stress fracture in his left tibia, was examined on Monday in Mesa, Ariz., and the test results were to be sent to the team’s medical staff in Chicago to gauge the progress the outfielder is making. Soler, who was playing for Class A Daytona, was injured in late June, and expected to be sidelined four to six weeks. The Cubs were hopeful he could return to action this season. Soler could play in the Arizona Fall League, which begins in early October. Soler, 21, was batting .281 with eight home runs, 13 doubles, one triple and 35 RBIs in 55 games with Daytona. He apparently fouled a ball off his left shin in Spring Training, and the injury flared up before the Florida State League All-Star Game.

* Cubs prospect Eric Jokisch, who threw a no-hitter on Aug. 6, has been named the Southern League Pitcher of the Week for the period of Aug. 5-11. It’s the second award this season for the Double-A Tennessee left-hander, who was named the Cubs Minor League Pitcher of the Month for April. Jokisch, 24, made history against Jacksonville with the Smokies’ first nine-inning no-hitter since Scot Elam in 1985. It was the first no-hitter since Mark Holliman tossed a seven-inning no-no in 2007. Jokisch lefty struck out eight and faced four batters over the minimum in a 10-0 win over the Suns.

* The Cubs’ game Sept. 7 against the Brewers has been changed to a 3:05 p.m. CT start time. It had originally been listed as a 12:05 p.m. CT start, but was adjusted at the request of national television, the team said. Friday’s and Saturday’s games against the Cardinals at Wrigley Field also will start at 3:05 p.m. CT.

The late afternoon games are tough because it’s an unusual time, and the shadows on Wrigley make it tricky for the players to see.

“The shadows and the sun in right field are horrendous and obviously, late in the game hitting, you better have the lead because it ain’t too easy hitting once those shadows come in,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said.

– Carrie Muskat

8/9 Soler, Almora and more

* Jorge Soler, sidelined with a stress fracture in his left tibia, was to be examined on Monday in Chicago to gauge the progress the outfielder is making. Soler, who was playing for Class A Daytona, was injured in late June, and expected to be sidelined four to six weeks. The Cubs were hopeful he could return to action this season. Soler could play in the Arizona Fall League, which begins in early October. Soler, 21, was batting .281 with eight home runs, 13 doubles, one triple and 35 RBIs in 55 games with Daytona. He apparently fouled a ball off his left shin in Spring Training, and the injury flared up before the Florida State League All-Star Game.

* Albert Almora, the Cubs’ first-round pick in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft, also was on the disabled list with a groin injury, and GM Jed Hoyer said Friday the outfielder could be sidelined 10 days to two weeks. Almora is another candidate for the AFL.

* Kris Bryant, the Cubs’ No. 1 pick this year in the Draft, has been impressive at short-season Boise, and Hoyer said they will discuss a possible promotion. The third baseman would likely be bumped up to Class A Kane County next.

“He’s played really well over the last couple weeks,” Hoyer said. “It’s to be expected that he would get off to a slow start. He hadn’t played since the end of May. [A promotion] is something we’ll be discussing over the next week or so.”

* On Thursday, Kyle Hendricks made a good impression in his first start with Triple-A Iowa, giving up one unearned run over seven innings, striking out five and walking one.

“He has a sub 2.00 ERA in Double-A and to go up and throw seven innings and no earned runs in Triple A, it shows you the value of command,” Hoyer said. “It’s nothing spectacular, mostly fastball, changeup, but he locates everything down and to both sides of the plate. He’s had a terrific year. You could make a strong argument that he’s been the best [Cubs' Minor League] pitcher this year.”

It’s unlikely the Cubs would promote Hendricks to the big league club when rosters expand in September because they want to watch the innings count.

– Carrie Muskat

6/27 Jorge Soler – UPDATED

Cubs prospect Jorge Soler has a stress fracture of his left tibia, and will be sidelined four to six weeks. Soler apparently fouled a ball off his leg in Spring Training, and the injury flared up. He will have to wear a walking boot, and will go to Mesa, Ariz., to rehab.

Theo Epstein says they are hopeful Soler can return to games this year, and want to have him play in the Arizona Fall League.

“If he gets back and plays again this year and can play in the Fall League, it should make up for [missed time],” Epstein said of Soler.

– Carrie Muskat

6/26 Extra bases

* Alfonso Soriano did not start Wednesday, and will likely be the Cubs designated hitter when they play six Interleague games in American League West ballparks, starting Friday in Seattle. Brian Bogusevic, called up from Triple-A Iowa on Tuesday, started in left field Wednesday against the Brewers, and will do so against the Mariners and Athletics, manager Dale Sveum said.

“You want to keep that bat going, and you don’t want him to sit too long,” Sveum said of Bogusevic, who was batting .319 with 14 doubles, three triples, 10 home runs, 32 RBIs and 16 stolen bases with Iowa.

* The Cubs have yet to sign their first-round pick, third baseman Kris Bryant, but Sveum is eager to see the infielder play as soon as possible. Of course, fans want to know how quick Bryant will be in the Major Leagues.

“You can’t put a timetable on kids like that getting to the big leagues,” Sveum said. “Hopefully, everything goes well and you get those kind of players with that kind of power and leverage in their swing, you want to get them here early but you don’t want to do anything to wreck his development either.”

The Cubs are counting on the young prospects in their system to take the team to a World Championship. That’s a lot of pressure.

“You hope people don’t get too anxious,” Sveum said, “and say, ‘Man, there’s openings here, there’s openings there. Man, I’ve got to do this to get to the big leagues soon.’ You try to do too much and can wreck your own development.”

* Class A Daytona outfielder Jorge Soler was to be examined in Chicago. He’s been sidelined with a sore left shin, injured when he fouled a ball off his leg. Soler went on the seven-day disabled list, which ended on Saturday, and has yet to play. He was to see the Cubs medical staff this week.

– Carrie Muskat

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