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gods-wrathWhen the Chicago Cubs tell you they aren’t worried about a minor injury, it’s time to panic.

So it is with outfield prospect Jorge Soler, who had been cruising through his stop at High-A Daytona until he took a foul ball off his left shin about two weeks ago. At the time, no one was worried, and there was a question whether he’d even go on the disabled list.

… now he’s out for at least four to six weeks with a stress fracture in his left tibia. That means a walking boot and no baseball activities until the end of July at the absolute earliest. Now for the frightening part: the Cubs aren’t yet willing to rule out the possibility that he’ll miss the rest of the year. Minor league seasons end in late August/early September, so six weeks in a boot plus a couple weeks of rehab and his season would be over.

Hopefully he comes back for at least a month or so of action, but this is obviously terrible news for an important young player who has played so very little baseball over the past three years. He is at a critical development stage, and the Cubs were very likely hoping he could emerge as an option for the outfield as soon as late 2014. That now looks like a dream.

I’m sure there will be more information on this in the coming weeks, but everyone involved is probably frustrated. It really sucks for Soler, but his future remains bright.

  • Joey Jo Jo Junior

    Worst case–wouldn’t he at least be on the AZ fall league roster then?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Maybe. That’s by no means certain.

  • Patrick

    Either the Cubs are awful at initial evaluations of injuries or they have the worst luck on the world.

  • #1lahairfan

    Not the worst possible thing, but it still sucks.

  • Crockett

    Why aren’t all minor leaguers required to wear shin guards for batting?!

    • Robbo

      Ha! Good point. Especially CUBS minor leaguers! Put that in the Cubs Way playbook.

      • hansman1982

        Require the full-on Barry Bonds package of Body Armour

        • Mr. P

          All Cubs prospects need to be in a protective bubble going forward.

        • cub4life

          come on now….you know that’s not enough……lets put them in a suit of armor

          • Crockett

            They’re required to wear the double flap helmets already. I don’t think the shin guards are a big leap.

            A giant suit of armor would be awesome though…

            • Mr. P

              I’m sure the freak Cubbie occurrences would still be able to crack the ironman suit.

              • DarthHater

                First time it rains, they would rust in place like the Tin Man in Wizard of Oz. Hey, maybe the Wizard could give us some belly fire!

            • mudge

              There would be chafing injuries.

  • cms0101

    Shut him down and move him to Tennessee to start next season. Better safe than sorry.

  • http://www.hookersorcake.com Hookers or Cake

    Yeah at least he got a nice bit of work in at A+ Should start next year at AA.

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    I guess is what happens when its young players first full season in 2 years. Its a grind. Not to worried but definitely a bummer. Hopefully we get to see him in the AZ fall league

  • Mr. Gonzo

    I’m still mentally preparing for amputation and the subsequent “running blade” debate. It only seems fitting.

    • davidalanu

      And the Cubs press release declaring “It’s just a flesh wound!”

  • Timmy

    Is it me or do players get injured more often that in the past?

    • DocPeterWimsey

      In part, it’s an artifact of teams treating their players as investments rather than as cannon fodder: an injury that in the past got “be a man and play through the pain” now gets “we are fixing this here and now.” (The “play through the pain” destroyed a lot of careers, but owners didn’t really care.)

      However, it also is a side-effect of players being in much better shape than they used to be. An outcome of guys lifting weights, running, etc., 11+ months of the year is that stress will lead to strain (such as stress fractures, torn tendons and ligaments, etc.)

      • cubzfan

        Agree with both your points. Just going to mention that in this case, the injury came from him fouling a ball off his shin. So, those kind of injuries have been happening for all of baseball, so it’s really your first point that directly applies here.

      • Timmy

        Interesting, thanks. Makes sense.

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    Yep, because players use to play through injuries all the time, but now with the Millions owners pay them they want to protect their investments for the long haul. Even in the minors they do this (big bonuses handed out), they also want preserve a prospects trade value.

  • mak

    On the scale of “season threatening injuries,” a stress fracture to the leg has to be one of the “best” in terms of future complications.Some might look at Soler and the Cubs as fortunate, when compared to Dylan Bundy, Kyle Gibson, even Almora.

  • curt

    when’s the last cubs player injury that was what they say it was or minor that didn’t turn out to be a huge one, where do they get these evaluations .

  • Brian Bogusevic

    Winter ball?

  • another JP

    Outside of pushing Soler’s development timetable back a bit this is not a terrible injury… it’s certainly better than TJ surgery. As an avid runner, stress fractures are fairly common and the only prescription is rest. They’re typically a result of overtraining, so it’s a bit rare that it would happen to a ball player. Looks like Soler won’t make it to AA until next season.

  • sprtswiz1

    There goes seeing Soler in the futures game.

  • Rudy

    Does this give Javy a better chance at getting in?

  • Die hard

    Those recur and sometimes related to medication affecting calcium intake– stimulants??

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Stress fractures are fairly common injuries. My high school track team generally had a few each spring, and it had nothing to do with stimulants.

      I don’t see any value in trying to throw Soler under the drugs bus based on literally nothing more than a stress fracture.

      • hansman1982

        Nonsense, it’s the Die Hard way…just throw out a bunch of crap, have people react to it only to throw out more crap the next day.

      • jt

        he got bonked with a foul ball.
        isn’t that bonked with a foul ball fracture rather than a “putting to much stress from exercise on the bone” fracture?

    • Dynastyin2017

      Tread lightly. Unsubstantiated accusations aren’t fair.

  • RD

    With Soler going down, you would have to expect an Almora promotion is coming soon although Andreoli still probably has to get bumped up first.

    • Kyle

      I don’t think Soler’s injury will have anything to do with Almora’s timetable.

  • Ralph

    Seriously?

    • Cubbie Blues

      Macchio, you should know a bit about this injury.

      • Ralph

        Sweep the leg.

  • Diesel

    Didn’t Jermaine Dye break his leg horribly after fouling one of himself when he was with Oakland? This isn’t the first time an injury occurred this way.

  • Joker

    OMG!!!! WHY DIDZ WE SIGN SOLER AND NOT PUIG!!!! THE SKY IS FALLING THE SKY IS FALLING THE SKY IS FALLING!!!!!

    : )

  • Spriggs

    I was expecting something like this.

    Oh well, only 8 years left.

  • Justin

    I’m not complaining about the Soler signing at all. And I love Soler longterm. But how in the hell did everyone but the Dodgers miss on Puig? That guy is so ridiculously talented it’s mind boggling. And everyone but the Dodgers were jocking Soler more (I still love Soler) but clearly Puig is better. I’m not saying this because of the injury I promise. I have just wondered for awhile why Soler and not Puig for the Cubs? I’m sure I will get smashed for saying this, but am just being honest..

    • Spriggs

      What bothered me at the time was all the people (here and on other Cubs sites) ridiculing the Dodgers for the signing.

      • Justin

        Yeah, I remember that. There was tons of hype on Soler before his signing, and not much info on Puig at all. And when Puig was signed people thought it was a terrible signing. I’m just curious where the disconnect on Puig comes from? That dude is off the charts.

        • Spriggs

          I just recall that lack of information was the issue with Puig. He’d been suspended from playing in Cuba for the year leading up to his defection. And I think the suspension was from trying to defect. There was a bigger question mark around him and the scouting reports were a little more varied than with Soler. There was somewhat of a lack of info on Soler as well, just not as much. Remember no one could even find a photo of Soler.

          And people just ripped the Dodgers because it was sour grapes. The Cubs were supposedly in on him, but simply were outbid.

          • BT

            People ridiculed the Dodgers because they spent 42 million dollars on a guy they had virtually NO scouting reports on. The fact that he turned out better than any expected doesn’t change this, in that no one had any idea good he was. It WAS a ridiculous contract. Puig just as easily been awful. The Dodgers didn’t see something in him that everyone else missed. They hadn’t seen anything, period. They simply had an assload of money burning a hole in their pocket and took a chance they could afford more than most.

            • Rebuilding

              Well said. No one should be mad at the FO over Puig. Unless the Dodgers had a mole in Cuba that was a ridiculous amount of money at the time

            • Kyle

              People ripped the Dodgers because they bought into a few vague reports published third-hand from pundits.

              International prospects remain an area where the knowledge inside baseball >>>>>> the knowledge of the smartest outsiders.

              • Spriggs

                Granted it comes from Dodger sources, but they do claim to have watched him hit and workout for 3 days or so in Mexico after he defected. And according to their main scout involved (I forget his name – Logan White???), they were the only ones there.

              • SenorGato

                Yep. Seems pretty clear that the people who saw him IRL were impressed.

            • Spriggs

              Nah. You can’t just call them a bunch of spendthrift, crazy, lucky lunatics who had no idea who Puig was. I don’t buy that.

              Whether they knew what they were getting or not… you can longer say with any certainty at all, that it is a bad contract. Lucky? Maybe, maybe not. Bad? No. Not anymore.

              • Rebuilding

                I think that’s why people said it was crazy “at the time”. Now obviously it looks good. It will be interesting to see what happens once the advance scouts get the book out on him

                • Kyle

                  I thought at the time people’s guffawing seemed weird.

                  We had some vague reports that he wasn’t that great, then we had a bidding war that ended with a team signing him to a massive deal.

                  Rather than assuming they overpaid like crazy idiots, I assumed he was just a lot better than the initial reports.

                  • Rebuilding

                    Maybe. I just assumed that the Dodgers new ownership wanted to make a splash. And from what I’ve heard there was really no bidding war. The Dodgers just blew everyone else out of the water

            • Justin

              I guess it’s possible the Dodgers just got ridiculously lucky. It’s about time the Cubs got some of that luck with their prospects. Please just once baseball Gods.

              • Kyle

                Like Jeff Samardzija?

                Heck, Sammy Sosa?

                • Justin

                  I guess Samardzija is an example. I was thinking a little bigger, but I will give ya that one. Sosa’s baseball Gods were a needle with Juice in it. Which I’m cool with, if they can get away with it.

                • BT

                  Samardzija is a good example. Even worse though in that people were ripping the Cubs years after he signed, and the only thing the Cubs gambled was 10 million over 5 years and a 5th round draft pick. Baseball Prospectus was all over Hendry on this until…suddenly they weren’t.

  • Steve

    Sucks that he has a stress fracture. Stress fractures of the tibia are notoriously obnoxious injuries. They can take a long time to heal. Sometimes, surgery can be required if healing is prolonged or if the stress fracture propogates.

    It obviously depends on how bad it is, but, honestly, if it’s truly a worsening stress fracture, I’d be surprised if he were back on the field this year. No way they rush this guy back unless he’s truly 100% healed, which is a difficult thing to do so quickly.

    The long-term prognosis for this, though, is actually very good. One way of another, it should heal and then he’ll be good to go.

  • Kramden

    Let’s see…. First there was the Junior Lake injury, then Almora broke his hamate bone, now Soler. I guess it’s only a matter of time before Baez and Bryant hit the O.R.

    Only the Cubs, only the Cubs :-/

    • X the Cubs Fan

      It seems even though we get injuries not really any career threatening/ Dylan Bundy injuries. So Gods wrath isn’t solely based on the Cubs. Its the goat!

  • DarthHater

    If I remember correctly, T.O. played in the Super Bowl and Tiger Woods won the U.S. Open with stress fractures. So cut the crap and suit up, Jorge. :-P

  • http://www.survivingthalia.com Mike Taylor (no relation)

    2014 AAA:
    LF Vitters / Sappelt
    CF Ha
    RF Jackson (L)
    1B Nelson (L) / Torres
    2B Watkins (L)
    3B Villanueva
    SS Alcantara (S)
    C Noble / Boscan

    2014 AA:
    LF Chen / Andreoli
    CF Almora
    RF Soler / Silva
    1B Geiger
    2B Bruno / Torreyes
    3B Bryant
    SS Baez
    C Lopez / Krist

    • nkniacc13

      I wouldn’t be surprised if either Jackson or Vitters isn’t with the Cubs org at the start of next year

      • Bric

        Well Vitters is pretty much gone (hopefully through a trade in the next couple of weeks) unless they can quickly move him to another position. This is because there are already two guys ahead of him on the major league roster that can go do in the majors what he’s done in the minors (for less incremental money) and he’s already starting to block the guys behind him. Move him to left, right, trade him, or he’s gone. Jackson, I’m not so sure.

    • Dustin S

      Overall I think that’s pretty close. I would nod that Jackson and Vitters are no locks for sure, Vitters is probably more likely to hang around since he showed a little life this year. But him not being able to stay healthy is likely on the Cubs last nerve. Jackson has steadily regressed for 3 years at Iowa so he’s nearing bust territory too. A Szczur/Jackson platoon wouldn’t be out of the question if the Cubs aren’t quite ready to throw in the towel on him quite yet.

      Almora will need time at Daytona before making the jump to to AA, but if he’s promoted soon and can finish out 2013 at Daytona he would be on-track. Bryant and Soler are in a similar situation where it depends how much playing time they get in yet this year. They’ll both need to get some time in during 2013 to start at AA next year.

      We’ll have a lot better idea on most of these in ~5 weeks when we see who is promoted, the fallout of big league roster trades, and if any of our prospects are thrown-in on deals.

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