One of the Chicago Cubs’ top positional prospects – point in fact, the “four” in The Big Four – will finally be back in minor league action today.
Jorge Soler played in exactly one game this year at AA Tennessee, and got one at bat. He doubled, but came up lame, and has been out every since while rehabbing a hamstring injury in Arizona. His injured his hammy back in Spring Training, and the lingering effects there probably caused the Cubs to be extra, extra cautious with his return. Carrie Muskat says that, finally, Soler is due back in the Tennessee Smokies’ lineup today.
Soler, to whom the Cubs gave a $30 million big league deal a couple years ago to sign after he defected from Cuba, also missed half of last season with a stress fracture in his leg. He made up for some lost time in the Arizona Fall League, but he wasn’t playing at full speed. Further, he missed a lot of baseball time the two years before that while going through the defection process.
In other words, coming back from this injury is a bigger deal than it would be for most prospects, and him getting in a full season from here on out is fairly critical. He’s just 22, but he needs at bats like the flowers need the rain.
You can expect an adjustment period (remember, this is his first time at AA, too), so try not to expect too much too soon. Just hope for health, and a lot of games between now and July. And then we can see where he stands with respect to actual baseball progress.