Cubs phenom Soler benched for one game at Daytona
We’ll update things as we go today, as the Cubs return home to face the San Diego Padres at Wrigley Field. It’s a warm afternoon with the wind blowing out. On the field today, closer Kyuji Fujikawa was getting set to throw a bullpen session. He is due to come off the disabled list today, but he’ll need a couple of rehab appearances before being activated.
In the minor leagues, Class A Daytona manager Dave Keller benched phenom Jorge Soler for Sunday’s game after Soler twice failed to run hard Saturday.
“(Soler) sat (Sunday) because within the philosophy and the work ethic that we are trying to create in this organization -- and that we are trying to get our players to understand – work ethic, energy, determination, playing hard and running hard is part of the whole program,” Daytona manager Dave Keller told Sean Kernan of the Daytona Beach News-Journal. “When you don't do that, then you don't get to play. That's something that has really been emphasized over the last two years.”
Soler is expected back in the lineup today.
“As a coaching staff we're required to stay on top of it,” Keller told Kernan. “And we're doing it because work habits create the player, period. When you work, you get better.”
It’s the second incident this year involving Soler, who was suspended five games for a bat-wielding incident. Soler signed a nine-year, $30 million contract last year.
We’ll have our minor-league roundup below, and maybe we’ll hear from the Cubs brass this evening on Soler.
From the game notes: The Cubs have seen all 24 games this season decided by 4 runs or fewer, a new franchise record. The previous club record of 21 games to start a season with all contests decided by 4 runs or fewer took place 105 years ago in 1908.
The 24 games to start a season with all contests decided by 4 runs or fewer is tied for the second-longest streak in major league history with the 1918 St. Louis Cardinals. The only team to start with a longer streak is the 1914 Detroit Tigers (33 games). The Cubs credit Elias for that info.
The Cubs have had three pitchers record multiple saves this season: Kevin Gregg (3), Fujikawa (2) and Carlos Marmol (2). For the first time in 45 Aprils since the save became an official MLB statistic in 1969, the Cubs have seen three pitchers record multiple saves within the season’s first calendar month.
In the quality-start department, the Cubs are 9-6 when they get one, and the starters have an ERA of 1.98 ERA. When the Cubs don’t get a quality start, they are 0-9, and the starters have an ERA of 5.69.
The Kane County Cougars and Tennessee Smokies both were rained out Sunday. Kane County is playing a doubleheader today at Lake County while Tennessee plays two with Pensacola. Eric Jokisch of Northwestern (3-1, 1.11 ERA) goes in one of the games for Tennessee.
Class AAA Iowa picked up 13 hits and 4 homers Sunday in a 10-6 victory over Omaha. Ryan Sweeney hit his sixth of the year while Brett Jackson, Brent Lillibridge and Brian Bogusevic each added his first. Bogusevic has a nine-game hitting streak. He’s gone 15-for-31 (.484) during the streak. For the season, he is at .417/.506/.528 on 30-for-72 hitting.
Sweeney leads the team in homers. He’s at .369/.423/.738 with 16 RBI on 24-for-65 hitting.
Jackson had 3 RBI Sunday. He’s at .232/.328/.393 with 7 RBI on 13-for-56 hitting. He has walked six times and struck out 19.
Rehabbing third baseman Ian Stewart was 0-for-2 with 3 walks. He’s at .094/.286/.125 on 3-for-32 batting after 10 games of rehab.
Lefty Brooks Raley was the winning pitcher as he worked 6 innings, giving up 6 hits and 4 runs while walking three and striking out one. He’s 3-2 with a 3.81 ERA.
Class A Daytona batters walked eight times and stole four bases in a 7-4 victory over Palm Beach. P.J. Francescon got the win, working 6 innings and giving up 4 hits and 2 runs while walking two and striking out five. He’s 2-2 with a 6.00 ERA.
Javier Baez hit his fifth homer. That leads the team. He was 2-for-4 with 2 RBI and has hit safely in five of six.
“This level is about learning how to hit,” manager Dave Keller told Sean Kernan of the ews Journal. “I thought the best at-bat for (Baez) was the two-strike, line-drive base hit up the middle, because he stayed inside the ball and put it in play. That was really neat to see that he made some adjustments.”