Yes, 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?
- 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.