The college reunion was a success by virtue of The Wife and I having some good ole wistful fun. I am also now very tired, which is why that first sentence barely makes sense.
- Jorge Soler played in a minor league game! The Arizona League (rookie ball) got underway yesterday, and Soler was in action, DH’ing for the AZL Cubs. In five at bats, he had three hits, including two doubles, and struck out twice. Interestingly, the first pitcher he faced (doubled and struck out) was top Diamondbacks prospect Archie Bradley, who is himself rehabbing an elbow injury. Soler is coming back from his second hamstring injury of the year, and it’s good to see that he’s able to play in games right now, even if only at DH. I’d look for him to play about a week or so in the Arizona League before heading back to AA Tennessee for the last two months of the year (hopefully fully healthy). Soler has played just one week of games at AA so far this season after missing more than half of last season with a stress fracture in his leg.
- Rick Renteria talks about the play Starlin Castro didn’t make on Gregory Polanco, which led to a couple runs yesterday (Cubs.com). Castro made a nice play to get the ball, but didn’t get his throw off quickly enough to complete the play at first, which is generating a new round of acrimony about Castro’s mental game.
- All things equal, it sounds like Renteria prefers to have someone like Chris Coghlan leading off so that he can have Luis Valbuena batting in the middle of the order (Cubs.com, CSN). I understand that’s intended as a credit to Valbuena, but I can’t help but say that Valbuena’s OBP is currently 70 points higher than Coghlan’s. (In fairness, though, Coghlan really is quite hot – in the last three weeks, he’s hitting .293/.396/.610. Of course, I’d argue that *that* guy looks more like a middle-of-the-order hitter than Valbuena, but whateves.)
- Welington Castillo, who is close to being activated from the DL, talks about Manny Ramirez (Cubs.com), and the impact he could have on the organization.
- Theo Epstein suggested to ESPN that part of the reason for Albert Almora’s struggles offensively at High-A this year is because the Cubs have been working on his approach in a way similar to what Starlin Castro went through last year (focus on pitches you can drive instead of just hitting everything because you can). If so, we’ll just hope for the same eventual results that Castro is seeing this year after his ugly 2013 season. Bet big on Almora in 2015, I guess.