In a lot of ways, Jorge Soler’s 2016 season has become exactly what we expected at the beginning of the year.
He made some progress on his outfield defense, continued to look great at the plate … and spent a fair amount of time rehabbing from various injuries.
The most recent injury occurred on September 16, when Soler was removed from a game against the Brewers with right side soreness. He underwent an MRI, and, although the results of the MRI were clean, Soler hasn’t played much since the original injury (five plate appearances and just one start).
While it was – at one point – fair to assume that the Cubs were simply resting Soler up for the playoffs during a mostly meaningless stretch of baseball, that doesn’t really seem to be the case. According to Joe Maddon, Soler’s right side still hurts, and he even underwent a second MRI.
The bad news is that the right side soreness was significant enough for the Cubs to keep Soler in Chicago as they traveled east to take on the Pirates. The good news is that the second MRI did not reveal any damage, and Soler should rejoin the team for their final series of the year in Cincinnati.
Even still, it’s hard not to worry a little, given the history and Soler’s potential. “I was told the side bothers him, nothing horrible, nothing to be highly concerned about, but we kept him back for the tests,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said Tuesday of Soler.
With any luck, Soler really will be ready to play in Cincinnati, and can stay warm before the playoffs. If you recall, he was one of the primary drivers of the Cubs postseason success in 2015, so his bat will be quite welcomed come October.