jorge soler cubsI cut my foot open this morning when a can lid poked through the trash bag I was carrying. That was weird, and kind of sucked. If only I weren’t a flip flops guy, it could have been avoided …

  • Not to do a redux of yesterday’s fruitful, but drawn-out conversation about Jorge Soler’s struggles in the Arizona Fall League this year (in all of a week and a half’s worth of games, and after missing three months of action), but Jesse Rogers wrote up a long piece on the Cubs outfield prospect yesterday. In it, he hears from at least one scout (was it the same one in the BA piece?) who questioned Soler’s bat speed at this point (calling him “raw”), and another scout (or was it the same one? hard to tell) who says Soler simply doesn’t look like the same guy he was in Spring Training. Neither of those comments provide me any more heartburn than was already there about a young man who has played so little baseball over the last two and a half years. “Raw” was always going to be Soler’s story until he’d played a couple organized seasons consecutively. His injury this year was horribly timed in that regard, but he’s back on the field, and we’ll see what happens next year.
  • Rogers also notes that Soler had to step away from the AFL for a few days to go deal with a residency issue. He’s expected back tomorrow or Friday, but missing more games … grumble. It’s just not what he needs.
  • It’s important to note, by the way, that many who have seen Soler in the AFL haveĀ notĀ expressed concerns about him regressing as a prospect. When you compare him to the explosions by Javier Baez and Kris Bryant, or the hot AFL start by Albert Almora, sure, Soler is going to look like he’s really lagging. But you’re talking about three guys that are clear top 20 prospects in all of baseball. To be a bit behind them is no criticism, even if it’s true.
  • Speaking of AFL games, the Mesa Solar Sox lost yesterday. Albert Almora led off and went just 1-5, and Kris Bryant had a couple singles in his four at bats.
  • Another interview with Kris Bryant – he’s the star of the AFL, after all – that’s worth checking out.
  • Sahadev Sharma writes a long piece for Vine Line about Welington Castillo’s emergence, with the aid of staff assistant Mike Borzello. Great read.
  • The Cubs year in quotes, courtesy of Patrick Mooney and CSN.
  • Topps selected Byron Buxton as the minor league player of the year, which is entirely fair, given his ridiculous numbers and fantastic defense in center field. I’d like to think, since we’re just talking about performance, that Javier Baez was probably a close second. How could he not be, right?
  • I hesitate to even share this, because so help me, if it turns into a political or religious discussion … but, the Westboro Baptist Church is planning to protest the World Series at Busch Stadium. They say such silly things. They are the cutest little hate-mongers ever!
  • There is no connection to baseball here, but there’s a connection to sports and me, so that’s enough: it’s the Ohio State marching band doing a half-time Michael Jackson routine, complete with moonwalking. Very worth your time, even if you just skip ahead to the moonwalking (4 minutes).


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