Thursday, June 27, 2013

Jorge Soler sidelined with stress fracture in tibia

Cubs prospect Jorge Soler will be in a walking boot for the next 4-6 weeks after being diagnosed with a stress fracture in his left tibia, the team announced Thursday.

Soler, who is hitting .281 with eight home runs in 55 games, hasn't played for high-Class A Daytona since June 13 after fouling a ball off his shin.

The Cuban outfielder has had a bit of a rough go this season. He's already been benched by his manager for failing to run hard, and he also served a five-game suspension in April after approaching the opposing team's dugout while wielding a bat.

I call attention to this news for two reasons: First, it's a sad day for any organization when the status of players who are in the deep minors is more newsworthy than the activities of players currently at the major-league level. That's the case for the Cubs right now. If you listen to The Score's "Talking Baseball" program on Sunday mornings, you are likely to get extended discussion on the progress of assorted Cubs prospects, but little will be said about the current roster. That goes to show there is not much to discuss with the Cubs, at least until they trade off the handful of useful veterans they have before the July 31 deadline.

Secondly, I also point out Soler's issues to make note that you just never know with prospects. Sometimes I hear Cubs fans and even some media talking with great certainty about how Soler is a future star. Maybe he is. I don't know. The kid is only 21 years old. I do know it's much too early to make judgments on this guy. It's certainly too early to anoint him for greatness, especially since he's having a tough year. No question, it's a setback to lose at least two months of development time to an injury. Soler will play winter ball, I'm sure, but there's a real possibility his season at Daytona is over. He'll never get those at-bats back.

This turn of events is a reminder there are risks when an organization ties its future to prospects. Some guys pan out, but most guys don't. The Cubs have about ($)30 million reasons to hope Soler pulls it together, but if indeed this is the end to his 2013 campaign, it can only be described as a disappointment.


  1. Just who are the most interesting trade chips for the Cubs? Obviously Matt Garza, but his value is obviously way down after all of his injuries. David DeJesus is obviously untradable while hurt. And Alfonso Soriano is pulling ahead in his battle with Adam Dunn for worst contract. Nobody might want him even if the Cubs paid the whole thing.

    Can they get anything for spinning off retreads like Kevin Gregg and Ryan Sweeney? Do they think Sweeney's power spike is for real and want to keep him?

  2. I saw a trade deadline story involving the Cubs dumping Gregg. Comical. I immediately thought of that guy in everyone's fantasy baseball league who tries to flip a couple waiver wire guys picked up 2 weeks ago who have a hot streak going for one of your studs. Sveum pretty much said it best... Gregg throws strikes and hopes you either hit it or swing and miss. In other words he throws meatballs and prays you don't go yard.

  3. Sweeney is headed to the DL after busting one of his ribs over the weekend in Seattle, so that whole point is moot now. Injuries have been a problem for Sweeney throughout his career. He's OK as an extra outfielder, when healthy. IMO, he's redundant on the roster with DeJesus. Unfortunately for the Cubs, both are hurt, so they are likely stuck with both.

    Michael, I agree completely with that analogy on Gregg. I guess it's a soft market for closers, but can you see the Tigers or some other contender calling on a guy like Gregg to pitch in high-leverage situations in the heat of a pennant race? That would be criminally stupid. I think Matt Lindstrom, who pitches the seventh inning on a crappy White Sox team, would have have more value to a contender than Gregg. At least Lindstrom throws the damn ball 94-96 mph and can miss a few bats here or there.

    Gregg and the Cubs are actually a match made in heaven right now. The Cubs aren't competing for anything. They are killing time in hopes it all comes together for them around 2015 or 2016. In the meantime, somebody has to close. Why not use a stiff like Gregg in that role? They're not paying him much, and he's not going to hurt a damn thing if he fails.

    Admittedly, there's a sucker born every day, but I can't see any GM sending the Cubs anything more than a C or D prospect to have Gregg pitch out of their bullpen for a couple months.