Jorge Soler will make his first major league start Wednesday. (Photo by Stephen Green)
The Cubs recalled outfielder Jorge Soler and infielder Logan Watkins from Triple-A Iowa Wednesday afternoon, placing outfielders Justin Ruggiano and Ryan Sweeney on the 15-day disabled list with left ankle inflammation and a left hamstring strain, respectively.
Soler, 22, was the organization’s No. 5 preseason prospect, according to Baseball America and ranked the No. 49 prospect in all of baseball prior to the season. The right-handed batter and thrower combined to hit .340/.432/.700 (AVG/OBP/SLG) with 23 doubles, 15 home runs and 57 RBI in 200 at-bats over 62 games this season across three minor league levels.
The 6-foot-4, 215-pound player started the 2014 season at Double-A Tennessee, where, despite being slowed by hamstring injuries, he batted .415/.494/.862 in 65 at-bats over 22 games to earn a promotion to Triple-A Iowa on July 24. In just more than a month with Iowa, Soler batted .282/.378/.618 with eight homers and 29 RBI in 32 games.
Soler originally signed a nine-year major league deal with the Cubs in June of 2012 out of Cuba. He entered the 2013 campaign ranked by Baseball America as the No. 3 prospect in the organization and batted .281 (59-for-210) with 13 doubles, eight homers and 35 RBI after being limited to 55 games with Single-A Daytona due to a left shin fracture. He was named to the World Team in the Futures Game that year (though he did not play due to injury) and recovered to participate in the Arizona Fall League with the Mesa Solar Sox, playing in 20 games.
Overall in 151 career minor league games, Soler has batted .307 (167-for-544) with 300 total bases, 108 runs scored, 43 doubles, three triples, 28 home runs, 117 RBI, a .383 on-base percentage, a .551 slugging percentage and a .934 OPS.
Watkins, who turns 25 on Friday, returns to the Cubs for his second stint this season. He hit .300 (3-for-10) with a double and three RBI in four games with the Cubs last week before being optioned back to Iowa after the game on Sunday. At Triple-A this season, he is batting .256 (83-for-324) with 21 doubles, four home runs and 38 RBI in 103 games. He was the organization’s 2012 Minor League Player of the Year.
Ruggiano, 32, is batting .281 (63-for-224) with 13 doubles, six home runs and 28 RBI in 81 games with the Cubs this season.
Sweeney, 29, is batting .251 (52-for-207) with nine doubles, three home runs and 20 RBI in 77 games.
The Cubs today placed shortstop Starlin Castro on the bereavement list and placed right-handed pitcher Edwin Jackson on the 15-day DL with a right lat strain. Infielder Logan Watkins and left-handed pitcher Zac Rosscup have been recalled from Triple-A Iowa.
Both Rosscup and Watkins, who will wear uniform No. 45, will be available for the Cubs this afternoon when they resume their suspended game with the San Francisco Giants at Wrigley Field at 4:05 p.m.
Rosscup, 26, joins the Cubs for his fifth stint this season and has no record and a 7.50 ERA (5 ER/6.0 IP) in seven big league relief outings. He began the year with four scoreless appearances but allowed five runs in 2.0 innings covering three appearances during his last big league stay and was optioned to Iowa on July 20. With Iowa, Rosscup is 2-0 with four saves and a 2.10 ERA (7 ER/30.0 IP) in 29 relief appearances.
Watkins, 24, joins the Cubs for the first time this season after batting .256 (81-for-316) with 20 doubles, one triple, four home runs and 38 RBI in 101 games with Iowa this year. The left-handed hitter made his big league debut with the Cubs last season and batted .211 (8-for-38) with one double in 27 games.
Castro is batting .284 (141-for-496) with 31 doubles, one triple, 13 home runs and 64 RBI during his 2014 All-Star season. Bereavement list rules allow for a stay of a minimum of three days and a maximum of seven days.
Jackson is 6-14 with 6.09 ERA (94 ER/139.0 IP) in 26 starts for the Cubs this season.
(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty)
The Cubs today acquired right-handed pitcher Jacob Turner from the Miami Marlins for minor league right-handed pitchers Jose Arias and Tyler Bremer.
To make room for Turner on the 40-man roster, outfielder Ryan Kalish was designated for assignment.
Turner, 23, was originally selected by the Detroit Tigers in the first round (ninth overall) of the 2009 Draft and was the centerpiece of the July 23, 2012, five-player trade that sent pitcher Anibal Sanchez to Detroit. After starting 2013 at Triple-A New Orleans, Turner joined the Marlins at the end of May and went 3-8 despite a 3.74 ERA (49 ER/118.0 IP) in 20 major league starts. Turner has split the 2014 campaign between Miami’s rotation and bullpen, going 4-7 with a 5.97 ERA (52 ER/78.1 IP) in 20 appearances, 12 as a starter.
After making his big league debut for Detroit with a brief three-start stint as a 20-year-old in 2011, Turner entered 2012 ranked as Detroit’s No. 1 prospect by Baseball America. Upon joining the Marlins organization in July, Turner made two starts for Triple-A New Orleans before earning a promotion to the Marlins, for whom he went 1-4 despite a 3.38 ERA (16 ER/42.2 IP) in seven starts.
The 6-foot-5, 215-pound Turner is a native of St. Charles, Mo., and was drafted by the Tigers out of Westminster Christian Academy after being named the 2009 Gatorade Player of the Year in Missouri. He made his professional debut in 2010, pitched in the Futures Game in 2011 and made his big league debut a couple of weeks later on July 30, 2011, at 20 years, 2 months and 9 days, becoming the youngest Tigers pitcher in more than 30 years.
Turner is 9-21 with a 4.77 ERA (140 ER/264.0 IP) in 53 major league appearances (45 starts) covering the last four seasons with Detroit (2011-12) and Miami (2012-14).
(Photo by Stephen Green)
The Cubs today activated right-handed pitcher Kyuji Fujikawa from the 60-day disabled list Wednesday. To make room on the 40-man roster, outfielder Nate Schierholtz has been designated for assignment.
Fujikawa will be available for the Cubs Wednesday night against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field.
Fujikawa, 34, returns to the Cubs following an almost 14-month recovery from Tommy John surgery on June 11, 2013. He made his major league debut with the team last season after pitching 12 years for the Hanshin Tigers in Japan’s Central League. Fujikawa appeared in 12 games in 2013, recording the save on Opening Day, and went 1-1 with two saves and a 5.25 ERA (7 ER/12.0 IP) overall. He twice landed on the disabled list, first on April 13 with a right forearm strain and again on May 27, the day after walking off the mound due to injury. Soon after, he underwent Tommy John surgery.
The right-hander combined to make 12 rehab appearances with three minor league clubs during the past month, posting no record and a 0.77 ERA (1 ER/11.2 IP). He struck out 13, walked three and limited opponents to a .171 batting average.
Schierholtz, 30, batted .192 (60-for-313) with six homers and 33 RBI in 99 games for the Cubs this season. He signed with the team prior to the 2013 campaign, when he went on to hit a career-high 21 home runs.
(Photo by Stephen Green)
Cubs’ 2011 first-round draft pick Javier Baez is slated to make his major league debut Tuesday, as the Cubs kick off a three-game set in Colorado. After a slow start in Triple-A Iowa, MLB.com’s No. 5 prospect was hitting .260/.323/.510 (AVG/OBP/SLG) with 23 home runs and 80 RBI at the time of the recall. Twelve of his home runs have come in the last 32 games.
Reliever James Russell has been sent to Atlanta in a deadline deal. (Photo by Stephen Green)
The Cubs acquired catching prospect Victor Caratini from the Braves for infielder/outfielder Emilio Bonifacio, left-handed pitcher James Russell and a cash consideration Thursday.
The 20-year-old Caratini, a second-round selection in the 2013 draft (65th overall) entered this season ranked by Baseball America as the eighth-best prospect in the Atlanta farm system. Baseball America named Caratini the best pure hitter in Atlanta’s 2013 draft class as well as its best power hitter.
In 2013, Caratini was named rookie-level Danville’s Player of the Year after hitting .290/.415/.430 (58-for-200) with 23 doubles, one homer and 25 RBI. He drew 19 walks versus 17 strikeouts, earning the organization’s Player of the Month honor for August.
Caratini has spent all of 2014 with Single-A Rome, where he was named a South Atlantic League midseason All-Star. He hit .279 (90-for-323) with 18 doubles, four triples, five home runs and 42 RBI in 87 games this season. According to GM Jed Hoyer, Caratini will report to the Cubs Single-A Kane County affiliate.
The 6-foot-1, 205-pounder is a native of Puerto Rico and attended Miami Dade Community College.
Russell, 28, was originally selected by the Cubs in the 14th round of the 2007 draft. He departs after going 10-16 with three saves and a 3.87 ERA (117 ER/272.0 IP) in 316 big league appearances, all but five in relief, since the start of the 2010 season. The lefty was 0-2 with one save and a 3.51 ERA (13 ER/33.1 IP) in 44 relief outings this season.
Bonifacio, 29, batted .279 (77-for-276) with 14 doubles, three triples, two home runs and 18 RBI in 69 games with the Cubs this year. He signed a minor league contract with the Cubs in February after being designated for assignment by the Kansas City Royals on February 2.
(Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)
The Cubs acquired left-handed pitcher Felix Doubront from the Red Sox Wednesday in exchange for a player to be named later.
The 26-year-old southpaw is 26-22 in his major league career with a 4.82 ERA in 98 appearances, including 69 starts over five years. Doubront made at least 27 starts and won 11 games in each of the last two seasons. After beginning the 2014 season as a starter, the left-hander has shifted to the bullpen.
He was the Red Sox’s Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2010, the same season he made his big league debut at age 22. He originally signed with Boston as a non-drafted free agent in 2004.
The Cubs traded Darwin Barney to the Dodgers Monday. (Photo by Stephen Green)
The Cubs sent second baseman Darwin Barney and cash consideration to the Dodgers for a player to be named later on Monday.
The 28-year-old Barney was designated for assignment on July 22 after hitting .230 with two homers and 10 doubles in 72 games this season. Since his Cubs debut in 2010, he has hit .244 with 18 homers in 542 games.
Barney earned a Gold Glove in 2012 after tying a major league single-season record with 141 consecutive errorless games at second.
Arismendy Alcantara will make his major league debut Wednesday. (Photo by Stephen Green)
The first of the big-time Cubs prospects will make his major league debut Wednesday, as infielder/outfielder Arismendy Alcantara gets the start at second base against the Reds in Cincinnati. The athletic Alcantara, who was recently named the No. 18 prospect in the game by Baseball Prospectus, will bat in the two spot. Right-handed pitcher Dallas Beeler has also been recalled and will make his second start of the season tonight.
Alcantara will temporarily replace Darwin Barney, who has been placed on paternity leave and is expected to return on Friday. Left-handers Chris Rusin and Tsuyoshi Wada have both been optioned to Triple-A Iowa.
Alcantara, 22, is hitting .307 with 25 doubles, 11 triples, 10 home runs, 41 RBI and 21 stolen bases in 89 games with Iowa this season, his first year at the Triple-A level. Named a Pacific Coast League All-Star, he is the only player in the minors to reach 25 doubles, 10 triples, 10 home runs and 20 stolen bases. His 46 extra-base hits are tied for ninth in the minors.
The switch-hitter has a .374 average against left-handed pitching and a .280 average against right-handers. He batted .345 in June and enjoyed a 13-game hitting streak from June 22-July 3, in which he hit .463 with a 1.214 OPS. This season, he has played 70 games at second base, 11 games in center field and six games at shortstop.
Signed by the Cubs as a non-drafted free agent in November 2008, Alcantara owns a .284 batting average with 104 doubles, 41 triples, 40 home runs, 254 RBI and 112 stolen bases in 530 career minor league games. He was a 2013 Southern League midseason and postseason All-Star for Double-A Tennessee, and hit a home run in the 2013 All-Star Futures Game.
Beeler, 25, will make his second start for the Cubs after making his major league debut in the first game of the June 28 twinbill versus the Nationals, an outing in which he allowed one unearned run over six innings. He is 5-3 with a 3.93 ERA in 11 starts with Iowa this season. The 6-foot-5, 210-pounder has walked only 17 batters and allowed just five home runs in 66.1 innings pitched, an average 2.3 walks per nine innings and one home run allowed per 13.1 innings.
The right-hander is in his fifth professional campaign since being selected by the Cubs in the 41st round of the 2010 draft out of Oral Roberts University. Beeler reached Double-A Tennessee in his first full pro campaign in 2011 and made a career-high 27 starts for the Smokies in 2012 before being slowed by a sprained finger on his right hand. Beeler is a career 17-21 with a 3.69 ERA in 77 minor league outings (69 starts).
The Cubs have reached an agreement with sixth-round draft pick Dylan Cease, a right-handed pitcher out of Milton (Ga.) High School.
With this move, the Cubs have now signed their first 22 picks, as well as 26 selections overall, from the 2014 draft.
Cease, 18, was a preseason first-team prep All-American heading into his senior year at Milton High School, but an injury hurt his draft stock. He struck out 20 batters in 12 innings without allowing a run before suffering an elbow injury in March that kept him off the mound for the remainder of the season.
In his 2013 junior season with Milton, the 6-foot-2, 180-pound Cease was 9-0 with an 0.81 ERA in 69.1 innings. He struck out 100 batters, good for an average of 13 strikeouts per nine innings pitched.