Some good new for two starters from the Cubs’ Opening Day line-up as they attempt to make progress in their respective rehabilitation stints.
Jorge Soler is now out of his walking boot and took batting practice on Friday, which is a first for Soler since injuring his ankle on June 1.
— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) June 19, 2015
Manager Joe Maddon said Soler was “slightly favoring his ankle but was performing light running” in the morning, per Mark Gonzales of the Tribune. Gonzales added that a rehab assignment could be forthcoming. Cubs right fielders are slashing .274/.322/.405/.727 with 2 home runs, 11 RBI and a .321 weighted on-base average in June.
Before hitting the disabled list, Soler slashed .265/.322/.402/.724 with 4 HR, 19 RBI and a .315 wOBA. The rookie right fielder seemed to turn a corner in May, slashing .288/.336/.423/.759 with a .326 wOBA and .406 BABIP.
Mike Olt, whose broken wrist in April opened the door for Kris Bryant to make his major league debut, joined the Tennessee Smokies on a rehab assignment on Friday. Olt went 1-for-2 with a single, walk and run scored in a Smokies 4-2 win. He scored on a Billy McKinney RBI single in the bottom of the fifth after making a gem of a defensive play at third base to end the top half of the frame.
Organizationally, the Cubs have a bit of a logjam at third with Bryant starting in the majors, Olt rehabbing, Javier Baez potentially lurking whenever he returns from injury and Christian Villanueva hitting .271/.333/.492/.825 with a .358 wOBA at Triple-A Iowa.
All things considered, it will be interesting to see where Olt plays as he moves forward in his rehab, seeing that he will have to be more versatile if he is going to help the Cubs at the major league level.