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With Jorge Soler ready to officially sign his contract with the Cubs any day, he’ll need to be added to the 40-man roster, which means someone will have to be bounced. If the Cubs had their druthers, I’d guess they would like to be able to wait to officially add him until Geovany Soto or Welington Castillo is ready to return from the DL, so they can bounce someone like Koyie Hill from the 40-man without issue. If they can’t wait, though, it might be another catcher, Blake Lalli.

  • Geovany Soto, who played his first rehab game at AAA Iowa last night, says he expects to be in Iowa for about a week. He and Welington Castillo, who is, himself, on a rehab stint with AA Tennessee could be ready to return at the same time early next week. If that happens, the Cubs will have to decide if they want to carry three catchers (not likely), or if one of the three will work full-time at AAA Iowa. The best bet is that Castillo is that guy.
  • Ryan Dempster is your NL Player of the Week, which sounds about right, given his 15 straight scoreless innings. He actually shared the honor with Jason Kubel, but nobody cares about that part.
  • Scout’s Chris Emma interviews Shawon Dunston, Jr., and, surprise, he sounds like an awesome kid. Once again, the Cubs have a number of prospects on the way up who are not only exciting players, but good people who are easy to cheer for. I like that.
  • Kevin Goldstein had some kind words for one of the Cubs’ less heralded prospects, High A shortstop Arismendy Alcantara (I love saying his name out loud): “While the focus on the Cubs system is firmly on the Triple-A team and the prospects that will arrive in Wrigley this year, Alcantara has turned into a pop-up guy in the system. With five hits over the weekend, the 20-year-old Dominican is now batting .291/.315/.417 in 60 games this season. There are some holes in his game, in particular an overly-aggressive plate approach and sloppy throwing mechanics that have contributed to 22 errors, but he’s a line drive hitter with a quick bat, plus speed, and the tools to remain at short. Scouts see Alcantara as a good utility player, at the very least, and many give him a chance to be an everyday player if he continues to progress.”
  • Aaron Kurcz, the “other” half of the Theo Epstein compensation, is dominating AA for the Red Sox. I say good for him. That reminds me, once again: are the Cubs pretty much just not going to be giving the Padres any compensation for Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod? It’s not like the front offices have forgotten, so did they just decide to let it go? That would be mighty generous of the Padres.
  • Carrie Muskat answers questions, and notes that an AL scout told her he’d “love” to have Alfonso Soriano in his lineup. That’s good to hear.
  • Paul Sullivan plays swami and predicts future headlines for the Cubs.
  • Don’t forget to enter the BN Fantasy Contest. It’s free, you can win money, you can beat me, and you help BN just by entering. Full details here.
  • http://bornonthird.mlblogs.com/ George Cotugno

    Alcantara has been as consistent as anyone in the Cubs system all year, been very impressed by him so far. With two stolen bases last night he has 18 on the season, only been caught 3 times.

  • Edwin

    I was pissed to see Kurcz go. Last season he was one of the few Cubs pitcher prospects who actually pitched well. Darn.

  • cjdubbya

    I was wondering who the Hill the Cubs might be considering to jettison from the 40 man roster. Seriously, who the Hill might they be considering?

    Also, I have to admit I chuckled at some of that stuff from Sullivan. Good for a decent laugh. (I think I’m still in post-Soler bliss at this point, knowing that with the Tigers and Red Sox in town this week, it may very well be a loooong week)

    Completely off topic – my wife (my fiancee at the time) took me to see the Tigers the last time they were at Wrigley. It was cool, she had shirts made for the occasion, put my name on the signboard, we sat in the RF bleachers (because left field sucks).

    Everything was awesome, until the first pitch. Granderson led off the game with a homer that landed about 20 feet to our right, Detroit belted I think eight homers that game (felt like 25), the Gambler himself won his 200th game. (just checked the Wiki, eight legit homers for Detroit that day, a club record) Still a good day at the ballpark. Hot dogs and Old Style were served, fun was had by all.

  • Stinky Pete

    When I hear “Alcantara” all I can think of is the guy about ten or so years ago who was HBP, kicked the catcher and then went after the pitcher. Izzy, I believe, was his name.

    • Danny B

      Yep, he kicked the catcher in the face. I think Izzy was playing for an affiliate of the Cubs at the time.

      • tim815

        Sawks, I think

  • ETS

    I know Dunston was a Henry pick, but Epstein also seems to heavily favor “good kids”. My caveat to that is that the current Red Sox team has so many “attitude problems”. I guess what I’m saying is Epstein couldn’t have always favored “good kids” or you wouldn’t have chicken-and-beer-gate, golf-gate and all the other club house messes that have gone on in Boston.

  • Leroy K

    I loved the Starlin Castro scoreboard one. In BIG numbers!!!!! (1 OUT!!!!!!!)

  • MIkeL

    Brett-

    Remembering 1984, I am fine with not giving the padres any compensation…..

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Ha. Old grudges never die, eh?

      • MIkeL

        Lol, just ask Ron Santo…….

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Send them a check or $100K for replacing the infield, dated 28 September 1984…..

  • Nick Nesler

    I’m still stoked over Soler. I know we signed a few of his teammates but the guy who might help him the most is Almora. He is American but his father and grandparents that lived with him are from Cuba. Having an American teammate that you have something in common with should help with his development and acclimation to the states. Especially since they will be brought up together.

  • goatbuster

    Is there a cut-off for when we have to sign our draft picks?

  • ETS

    Pretty sure it’s July 13th

    • North Side Irish

      Yep…July 13 at 5 p.m. ET. Expect to hear about the Almora signing about an hour after that.

  • NIACUB

    Where would Soler have gone if he was in this years draft?

    • Kyle

      “Comfortably” top-10, maybe top-5.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

        Top 9 for sure.  I don’t think he would have gone one or two, but I could see him going in place of Zunino.

  • The Show

    Ding ding ding! Sound the alarms! Rosenthal says he thinks the Indians could be Aa destination for Soriano.

  • MichaelD

    Schoenfield’s article is really bad. Twice he mentions trades that supposedly help the Cubs by moving Castro to 3rd, which would be premature at best and just wrong at worst. Most of his proposals have no mention of pitching which is what the Cubs are targeting. Most importantly some of the proposals are so weak or misaligned with the Cubs’ needs that they might as well just hold onto Dempster through the end of the season. With regards to the last point, I’m not expecting to get back Bundy in return, but there should be some value to the prospects the Cubs get.

  • mybrettjacksonhat

    I live in Pittsburgh (great place to see the Cubs – fantastic park and things are relatively inexpensive, except beer). Was at an end of the school year event for my daughter last night and was asked several times about Soriano by Pirates fans I know. The Burnett deal has been deemed a success here and they’re thinking they can pull another one off with Soriano. Not sure it is the right move for the Buccos but interesting to see that there is a positive vibe forming among fans of other teams (one at least).

    I’ll be taking my son to Wrigley for the first time in the middle of August. He just turned 5 and already has his dad’s love of the Cubs (and Pearl Jam). Brett Jackson signed his hat last year during spring training and talked to him for a few minutes. He seemed like a great guy and my son loved it so much that he wears the hat all over and tells folks that it is his Brett Jackson hat. I’m really hoping that Brett is up and playing that day.

    Brett (owner of site, not Jackson), I discovered your site last fall (along with Cubs Den) and I have to say that it has saved me. My schedule has become very crowded and what you do here feeds my cravings when I don’t have time to follow as closely as I would like. Thanks to you, Luke, and all the commenters.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Thanks for sharing all of that, MBJH. Love those personal stories. Glad to play a small part.

  • Mick

    Kuuuuuuuuuuube! Congrats on winning co-NL player of the week (I care).

  • Big Joe

    LOL @ Mather bunting with 50mph wind blowing out at Wrigley. It’s funny because it’s a possibility. Funny article.

  • matt

    Does anyone have any videos of Soler I cannot seem to find any of them online.

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