Over the past month or so the news coming out of Daytona in regards to Jorge Soler has taken a turn for the worse. All of last year and the early part of this year the reports have been glowing, Soler’s numbers, ability, and attitude were all highly praised by team officials, teammates, and fans. Then something happened. The first incident was widely talked about, it was widely scrutinized as well, Jorge Soler, a beast of a man, and a blue chip prospect of the Cubs, grabbing a bat and threatening an opposing dugout. From the sound of second, third, and fourth hand accounts the incident could have been much worse than it was. Regardless it wasn’t something you want to see out of your $30 million man at the high A level, so the Cubs organization made the media rounds and said that this is just a blip on the radar, but we are taking it seriously. For that incident Soler was suspended for five games, he just recently returned to the lineup, and has struggled as he is hitting .184 with no home runs and just three RBI’s in his last ten games.
Given those struggles I wasn’t surprised to see that Soler was not in the lineup yesterday against the Cardinals, seemed like a good day to give him a rest. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case as the Daytona Beach News Journal Online is reporting that he was on the bench because he was in fact benched by D-Cubs manager Dave Keller. “(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 said. “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.” Now that’s two incidents in just a months time when before this you couldn’t find anything bad about the kid. Are you worried that Soler is becoming an issue for the Cubs, or no? Me personally, I think he is smack dab in the middle of a major adjustment period. He signed a huge contract to play major league baseball, not high A baseball in Daytona. He also has to adjust to life here in the States after leaving his family behind. Not making excuses for him, just pointing out the reality that odds are these things might be factoring in to the recent behavior. I still think it’s just a bump in the road, but what say you Cubs fans?
Thanks for reading,