elephant in the roomYes, Jorge Soler grabbed a bat and may have beat up a dugout (the building, not the players in it) last night, but as of the time I’m writing this we really don’t know much more than that. Beyond the obvious – that this was a big mistake and will likely result in a hefty suspension – I don’t have much more to say. Until we have the details there just is not much more to talk about, and you can bet that Brett will be on top of all the details as they emerge.

[Ed. – And here’s that update: Fortunately, the early reports of Soler hitting the opposing dugout with the bat were overly-excited. There was an incident at second base after Soler slid in to try and break up a double play. There was a little shoving, and words exchanged. Benches cleared, but everyone headed back to their dugouts. It sounds like Soler didn’t like some things that were said, though, so he grabbed a bat and sprinted toward the opponents’ dugout. He didn’t swing, and was pulled on back by teammates. Here’s a good first-hand account from the Daytona Beach News-Journal. So, not as bad as it sounded initially, but let’s be honest about it: the young man went into his dugout after a fracas, grabbed a bat, and sprinted toward the opposing dugout. That alone is a really troubling approach to settling an on-field dispute, however nasty the things that were said to him may have been. But he’s a 21-year-old kid adjusting to an entirely new life. Some hiccups were to be expected. Let’s hope this was just one extreme hiccup, and not reflective of any longer-term issues. In the interim, I still think it’s impossible to see him not suspended, though it might only be a handful of games. The Cubs might keep him back for a bit after that, just to help him collect his thoughts. It’s a damn shame, because he was destroying High-A pitching so far.]

This might be a good time, though, to remind you that you can listen to all the minor league games free over the internet. Just hit up the team’s homepage around game time, and the “Listen” button should be waiting on you. For example, if you wanted to hear what the Daytona radio crew has to say about The Soler Situation, just visit the Daytona Cubs website around 7:05 ET and listen to the game.

Scores From Yesterday

Iowa – Cubs win! Iowa picks up their first win of the season 3-2.
Tennessee – A bear tackled a slice of pizza, and the Smokies lost their home opener 6-2.
Daytona – There was a game in Daytona last night, and it even went into extra innings. Unfortunately, the Cubs lost in eleven by a score of 14-9.
Kane County – The streak stopped at two. Kane County got thumped 10-4.

Performances of Note

  • [Iowa] The Cubs did not have a lot of offense in this game. Logan Watkins again reached base twice (hit and a walk), but he also struck out three times.
  • [Iowa] Blake Parker picked up the save for the Cubs. He allowed one hit in an inning and a third while striking out two.
  • [Tennessee] Justin Bour celebrated the Smokies home opener with his first home run of the season.
  • [Tennessee] Dallas Beeler pitched a decent game (6 IP, 6H, 2R, 1BB, 3K), but got saddled with the loss. Frank Batista was not as lights out as he was last year, but he did toss five scoreless outs.
  • [Daytona] With two more hits, including his second home run, Zeke DeVoss kept up his fast start. John Andreoli doubled as part of his three hit night. [Ed. – And Javier Baez took a walk! Pay no attention to the 0-5 with three strikeouts thing.]
  • [Daytona] The Cubs used five pitchers in this game, and three of them did not have good nights. The exceptions were Ryan Searle (3.2 IP) and Frank Del Valle (0.1 IP). Neither hurler has allowed an earned run this season.
  • [Kane County] Say hello to Nathan Dorris. On a day when Cougar pitching was generally ineffective, Dorris threw four innings of one hit ball while striking out five. He walked no one. The other three pitchers combined to walk ten.
  • [Kane County] Of course that third pitcher was outfielder Bijan Rademacher. He went 1-2 at the plate with two walks and two runs scored, and then as a pitcher gave up a run on no hits and three walks in one inning to finish the game.
  • [Kane County] And while a pitching staff giving up 10 walks is never good, the Cougars actually drew 8 walks at the plate. Jeimer Candelario accounted for three of those himself. Whenever I see 18 walks in one game I have to wonder about the guy calling balls and strikes. Maybe the strike zone was a little too tight?

Other News

  • Blake Parker’s save for Iowa gave him the franchise record in that category with 35 for his career. That’s simultaneously a nice achievement for Parker and an indication just how unstable Triple A bullpens are.
  • One additional oddity from the Soler ejection – the Cubs stopped using a DH after that incident. Soler had been in right field and DeVoss had been the DH. Following the ejection, DeVoss moved to center fielder and Andreoli, who had been in center, took over in right. The next time Soler’s spot came up in the batting order, though, the Cubs let the pitcher (Luis Liria at the time) hit. There may be a rule governing this situation that required the Cubs do that; I am not aware of any such rule, but that definitely does not mean one does not exist. Regardless, it created the unusual situation in which a pitcher was batting for himself in the clean up slot in a DH league. I doubt we see that in the American League this season.
  • Mike

    The fact that he didn’t actually hit anything with his bat in the incident will not stop Paul Sullivan…fear not Cubs fans! He will be all over this incident for the rest of Soler’s career with the Cubs, even if nothing like this ever happens again.

    • ETS

      He will just be plagiarizing what Brett had written earlier. (sorry couldn’t help it)

    • Kyle

      This incident was bad enough, hitting something with the bat or not, that it probably deserves to be stapled on to his scouting report for a long, long time.

      • hansman1982

        Since it’s the only incident thus far and we aren’t sure what was said to him, I’d say a footnote would suffice with the reference next to his Intagibles rating.

        • Kyle

          There is nothing that could have been said that makes what he did ok.

          • hansman1982

            I never said that it was ok, we just don’t know what kind of insult was hurled at him to illicit this kind of response. You tell the wrong person that you will bury them with a herd of pigs, you could be in for a world of hurt. You tell me that, I’d just look at you funny. Context does matter.

            Since we don’t know that, no use in condemning him to a Milton Bradley-esque career mark of shame.

            • Kyle

              The fact that there is any trigger phrase that would cause this action in this context is what reflects poorly on him.

              If he’s not a Milton Bradley, it’ll get shown out by not having any more incidents, not by shrugging off this one.

              • hansman1982

                Nor should there be a “1400-word treatise” attached to his scouting report.

                For now, a footnote.

                Those overreacting with a “HELLS YA! GO GET ‘EM, SOLER!” are just as erroneous as you are with your overreaction to condemning Soler.

                Regardless, it is something to keep an eye on.

                • Kyle

                  I don’t think I’m exactly condemning him.

                  I think it’s pretty cool that he’s a hothead. But I’m perfectly comfortable labeling him as such for this incident.

              • hansman1982

                Considering the situation his family is in in Cuba, I’d say, saying the wrong thing about them might trigger something bad.

                There are just so many variables that we can’t sweep it under the rug but we shouldn’t push him to the plank.

          • bbmoney

            I agree. If he’d just gone over and confronted the other dugout this would be a non-story I could write off.

            But taking a bat with you to go confront the other dugout? Kind of changes the vibe. Pretty inexcusable no matter what was said or what happened at 2b.

      • JulioZuleta

        Even Keith Law, who’s often even more cynical than you, correctly said that one incident says zero about a kid’s character. He’s 21 years old. I’m not sure if you were ever 21, but guys that age tend to have tempers. Until people know what was said, or what actually happened, there’s really not much point in speculating. Luckily people in the industry understand those kinds of things better than people on the internet.

      • JulioZuleta

        Also, tell me how this goes into a scouting report exactly. “Great bad speed, decent approach at the plate solid arm in right, got angry that one time.” That about how you see it?

        • Kyle

          “Once menaced opposing team with bat.” Doesn’t seem that hard to throw in there.

          There’s been at least one run-in with an umpire this year as well, despite the rush to paint him as a saint before last night.

          • JulioZuleta

            “Great bad speed, decent approach at the plate solid arm in right, got angry that one time.” Also,”had a 2 second spat with an ump.” I think what matters more is after that 2 second spat he hit a ball 420 feet into the wind. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9JPs9KwZOLk

            • Kyle

              I think the home run matters more too, but it’s pretty homery to act like no one will or should ever mention the incident again. He left the dugout with a bat to threaten or menace the opposing team. That’s pretty bad.

              • JulioZuleta

                . If you’ve been around young competitive guys before, stuff like this is not earth shattering. I’m not condoning it, and I think he deserves a week suspension, but again, without knowing what was said it’s insane to try to paint him as a monster.
                Not to go “high school football days” on people but, when I was a junior one of my best friends and teammates was killed in a DUI accident. After we played the other team in town, I heard their coach essentially say to his team that he was dumb and deserved what he got for getting in a car with someone who was drunk. I absolutely lost my mind and grabbed him by the shirt and had to be separated. From afar, I probably looked like a maniac, but if you hear the facts, that a 50 year old man essentially said my best friend deserved what he got in front of 60 people, I think even you see it a little differently. Who knows if he was slurred, or had something else said to him. I think the length of the suspension will tell us a lot.

                • Kyle

                  I do, in fact, spend quite a bit of time around high school athletes.

                  21’s not 18, and there’s a difference between a true reaction (grabbing the shirt immediately after something was said) and being unable to keep your cool after the fight has been broken up and you are back in the dugout.

                  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                    Ever been around a 21-year-old athlete who had to escape Cuba and then try to adjust to living in an entirely different country in less than a year?

                    That may have nothing to do with this, but let’s not ignore it. It’s kind of a big deal.

                    • Kyle

                      I’m a little uncomfortable holding people to lower standards of behavior because they are from Cuba. That just feels like it’s going to an icky place.

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                      That doesn’t at all twist my words.

                      The point: We know next to nothing about him as a person, and this incident tells us very little. We know that it was a very bad thing to do, and it’s something to keep an eye on. Saying anything more than that is a mistake, because we don’t know shit.

                    • Pat

                      There is no justification for threatening the opposing team with a bat. None. The efforts to marginalize this are disappointing.

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                      Take it easy. Read what I wrote in the piece, read what Kyle and JZ were actually discussing, and then contextualize my comment. I’m not marginalizing anything. I’m pointing out that making sweeping statements – in either direction – about young people in unique situations is a mistake.

                    • Kyle

                      I think it says he’s the kind of person who, when angry because of a baseball shoving match, will grab a bat and threaten the other team with it.

                    • JulioZuleta

                      I give up. Throw him in jail, he’s evil. There are no possible justifications. We know all things. What he did was essentially murder a village of small children. Cut him. Deport him.

                    • Rebuilding

                      My scouting report would say “Passion and fire are plus-plus, but make it clear to him that won’t be tolerated. Don’t tell him that I bet Clearwater won’t throw inside on him this year.”

                    • Jed

                      I agree with Brett. We don’t know the entire situation, for how his adjustment is going or to even what Alonso said to Soler. For all we know, Alonso said some pretty offensive things. What Soler did was wrong, but that doesn’t mean he’s gonna be a nut job. And he WILL get some form of punishment anyways.

                    • The Dude Abides

                      This is going to be remembered for a while, the key is it doesn’t happen again. Nothing said or cultural differences never make it ok to do this.

                      That said this happens every year on college campuses with athletes (fists, helmets, sticks, bats, etc.), many times unreported in the media. So this shouldn’t be blown totally out of proportion that it is unheard of for his age.

                      Everyone here condemning and defending him based on what? NO ONE knows him so defending him is just as ridicules as condemning him. Time will tell what we have, let him do his time and see where HE takes it.

                      Ultimately if this was not one of our top prospects it would be a non-story at this point.

            • gocatsgo2003

              Is what is shown in that clip what people are calling a “spat?” Seriously?

              Looks like a guy who disagreed with the call and took a second to compose himself while a single-A umpire decided he didn’t want to get shown up by a 21-year old kid and didn’t just leave him alone.

  • Die hard

    There is a slight resemblance to Dick Allen— another piece of work — but Dunston and Madlock threw temper tantrums which were tolerated cause they like Allen could play

  • TommyK

    I think if your DH plays in the field you lose the DH for the rest of the game.

    • npnovak

      Correct. And it has happened in the AL before. I remember an instance a couple years back where the Rays submitted their lineup card incorrectly and had to forfeit the DH for the whole game. I believe Longoria was the player they were forced to burn.

  • Andrewmoore4isu

    This reminds me of my intramural softball game just two days ago. My team came with smiles on our faces happy to play some fun softball. Next thing we know we are getting shelled by the American League allstars and as I am standing infront of home play waiting for the relay that is surely never to come, I almost get taken out. At which time I go up in arms reminding these a holes, d bags, and other words that it isn’t the word series, in fact it is an intramural softball game in the C league.

    I feel solers pain and I’m sure from this experience I can tell exactly where he is coming from!

    • beerhelps

      Ultra competitive beer league softball a-holes are the worst.

      • Edwin

        Or non-competative beer leagues with that one team of jerks that does try and make it competative. Agreed, the worst.

  • Jan Forty-Two

    At least for the Major League, i think the rule would be 6.10b 5:
    “The Designated Hitter may be used on defense, continuing to bat in the same
    position in the batting order, but the pitcher must then bat in the place of the
    substituted defensive player, unless more than one substitution is made, and
    the manager then must designate their spots in the batting order.”

  • FFP

    Thanks for the update, Luke. I am sure that Brian Lindner and the Daytona Beach _News-Journal appreciate the exposure here at BN, too.[img]http://www.news-journalonline.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/persbilde?Avis=DN&ID=blinder&MaxW=180[/img]

    • FFP

      Saw adds for Target, TMobile and ESPN while I was reading their site, too. Sports news and free enterprise rock. (Even though some Chicago lame-stream press folks might not think so.)

  • Die hard

    Wouldn’t need expensive Jumbotron if all players were more aggressive like that on bases— but today’s players all in same fraternity handshakes all around

  • ETS

    “The Smokies Bear just tackled a slice of pizza. For real. MiLB.TV might be my second favorite website.” – luke

    So, I have to wonder what’s number 1???

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Can I get a face palm?

      • ETS


    • Ash

      I’m assuming there isn’t a “Minor League WAGs” site yet, so I’m asserting it’s BN.com.

  • wayner21

    I hope this won’t lead to a premature label of Soler as any type of hot-head after just 1 incident. I remember mild-mannered Andre Dawson losing his cool a few times. He charged the mound after getting hit in the eye and tossed about a dozen bats from the dugout onto the field. I don’t remember anyone referring to the Hawk as a hot-headed player afterwards

    • ETS

      Derrek Lee was supposedly the coolest guy in baseball and yet he didn’t get through his career without a couple incidents – though, he never took a bat with him….

    • Edwin

      I think if Soler turns into a good player, it won’t batter. Didn’t Delmon Young throw a bat at an umpire? People won’t forget it, but in a couple years, if it’s the only incident, it probably won’t be a big deal.

    • Can’t think of a cool name

      Or how about George Brett going after the umpire after the pine tar incident.

  • Brandon

    I don’t think you can replace your dh for any reason during the game. I thought the pitcher had to then bat in that spot. Not sure though.

  • AA Correspondent

    Last night the TN Smokies opened the home season in Kodak against the Chattanooga Lookouts and dropped a 6-2 decision. The game was very close through 6 innings and at the end of the day, a pretty solid effort from starter Dallas Beeler got wasted. Last season, Dallas Beeler seemed to be the recipient of poor run support and last night was no different. 6 IP and 2 ER was a pretty solid effort. He looked very good although he hit 3 batters, which is not normal for him (poor reflexes for the Lookouts). His fastball was sizzling and breaking pitches looked very sharp. I am looking forward to a nice leap this season from Dallas Beeler. Lookouts starter Zach Lee was dominant, except for a Justin Bour homerun that was crushed in the 4th inning to tie the score at 1. Both starters performed very well in this game. The TN bullpen (Kevin Rhoderick and Frank Batista) simply could not get it done and a 4 run 8th inning spelled the end for the Smokies.

    A few observations:

    Justin Bour has slimmed down. Arismendy Alcantara looks like a young Jose Reyes. His mannerisms are very similar. Matt Szczur looks leaner (not as bulky as last season). Jae Hoon Ha sat out the game, but pinch hit in the 9th, walked and eventually scored. Christian Villanueva played third, and first impressions were less than stellar. Reminded me of Josh Vitters on defense (which may or may not be good depending on your perspective). The Smokies are aggressive on the bases and look to steal at every opportunity. Rubi Silva looks good and lined a double and stole a base. I like the looks of what is going to be our everyday OF: Ha, Silva and Szczur.
    Certainly this was not how the Smokies wanted to start the home campaign, but I am sure better days are ahead. GO SMOKIES!

    • ETS

      Thanks for the report! If Villanueva is the equivolant of Vitters at 3rd then we can just forget about him now. Let’s hope it was just an off day.

    • On the Farm

      “Christian Villanueva played third, and first impressions were less than stellar. Reminded me of Josh Vitters on defense”


    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Got to think Villanueva had a rough day. Scouts rave about his defense at third, and no one has ever raved about Vitters’ defense.

      • hansman1982

        Nah, as evidenced by Almora, the entire scouting industry can occasionally be completely, totally and utterly wrong.

      • AA Correspondent

        Hopefully just a bad day.

  • JulioZuleta

    Anyone know what’s going on with Vitters?

    • Edwin

      Injured, the last I heard.

  • cub2014

    Have you any update on Stewart or Lake’s return date?

    • AA Correspondent

      Please tell me when Lake is healthy he goes straight to AAA Iowa. I’ve seen enough of this guy in AA and feel that the Cubs should have pulled the plug on him last season, or at least traded him in a package when his “value” was high. Kid has the tools, but i just don’t think they are sharp enough to be a difference maker.

      • AB

        I’m glad he annoyed you so much.

  • Cubbies4Life

    Great song for just this type of incident:

  • Bilbo161

    If he really was spiked on purpose I expect him to do something to convince them it was not a good idea to do that. Maybe he did not have to bring the bat with him but that is a far cry from hitting somebody with it. People have been too well programmed to think that almost doing something is almost the same as actually doing it. Come on folks. You are not guilty of something just because you considered it for a moment!

    • DarthHater

      Actually, the law makes an important distinction between just thinking about doing something bad and actually taking steps toward the doing of something bad. The latter is called an “attempt” and when your associates have to grab you and hold you back as you try to run at someone in anger with a club, you did significantly more than just think about using the club.

  • Rebuilding

    Some of the comments on here are ridiculous. The kid is 21 years old. Ever go to a college bar? You’ll see 10 times worse in the first hour. Does it excuse the bahavior, no, but come on. I actually kind of like the fire to be honest. This will make the rounds and once he’s in the show, at his size, he might see one less inside pitch. As long as Soler doesn’t commit a crime or this doesn’t become a pattern of behavior then all I care about is that he hits the ball and catches the ball. You guys do watch football, right. Half of each roster has actually been arrested and/or served jail time

    • Bilbo161

      I agree with you. This is not a big deal. Was he spiked on purpose? If you were spiked on purpose, what would your reaction be? Take a good look at my Avatar. Do you remember that play? I don’t remember him being labeled a hot-head after that play and the ensuing donnybrook? Still made the hall. Lets hope Soler is our next Hawk!

      Give the kid a break folks. He’s not a politician.

  • DarthHater
  • The ghost of cubs future

    Baez can’t take a walk, Soler becomes Milton Bradley, Almora never realizes potential.

    I’m not actually from far enough into the future to know when our austerity measures pay off (for anyone other than the Ricketts’).

    • The ghost of cubs future

      And in the future, there are unnecessary apostrophes.

    • Timmy

      I wouldn’t go that far with the players, but agreed about the owners. We struck out as fans when they were selected.

  • Timmy

    Solar looks amazing and has some spirit. He didn’t lose control and swing the bat so he was probably just proving a point to a trash talker.

  • Pingback: Jorge Soler Suspended Five Games for Last Night’s Incident (UPDATE: No Additional Punishment from Cubs) | Bleacher Nation | Chicago Cubs News, Rumors, and Commentary()

  • ergocubs

    Paul Sullivan is a bottom feeder. He can’t write anything interesting or unique about a subject (the Cubs) he’s studied for about 30 years. So, instead, he plays one card every time: he manufactures “issues” about Cubs news and cobbles together a phony moral posture that makes him feel important while filling some column space. Every column of his is about somebody else’s headline, and every “cutting remark” is phony on the page and comes to nothing in reality. But, he gets the attention of the pro-Sox media in the town, which even this idiot can see is always open to a new cheap shot against the hapless Cubs. Imagine if a good Sox prospect (which they never have) with the same profile did the same thing. Can you just see what Bruce Levine would write? I can: “Tough, but talented, young player from the Dominican learns an important lesson in maturity.” Or, “Minor league super-talent must learn to channel competitiveness.”

    • http://401klogic.net Westbound Willie

      Chris sale?