The MRI on catcher Geovany Soto last night confirmed what the Cubs announced yesterday: Soto has a mild strain of the left oblique. They'll look at him tomorrow before the start of the series with the Cardinals, but don't look for them to call up a catcher from the minor leagues. If Soto can't go for a couple of days, Jake Fox will back up Koyie Hill.
The team today will announce that it will option pitcher Kevin Hart to Class AAA Iowa. This will be done mainly to get Hart some work at Iowa and perhaps at Class A Peoria as the minor-league all-star breaks are at hand, too. Hart is a good bet to start for the Cubs July 19 at Washington or July 20 at Philly.
With that, I expect the Cubs to bring up reliever Jeff Stevens from Class AAA Iowa to give them an arm in the bullpen. Stevens is one of the three pitchers the Cubs got from Cleveland for Mark DeRosa (who hits town tomorrow with the Cardinals, but on the DL). At Iowa, Stevens is 0-3 with a 2.18 ERA and 2 saves in 30 games. He has a tidy WHIP of 1.09, having pitched 41.1 innings and giving up 25 hits and 20 walks while striking out 43.
In a procedurual move, the Cubs will reinstate lefty reliever Jason Waddell from the DL and option him to Iowa. Waddell has been out since June 15 with a non-baseball-related medical issues. Best wishes to him.