Iowa Cubs fans will have even more reason to come out to Principal Park beginning Thursday. Jorge Soler, the fifth rated prospect in the Chicago Cubs organization according to Baseball America, will join the team from the double-A Tennessee Smokies on Thursday. Former Iowa Cubs third baseman Mike Olt will also rejoin the team after being optioned from Chicago.
Soler, who defected from Cuba in 2011, was signed to a nine-year, $30 million deal by Chicago in 2012. Soler has battled injuries since signing with Chicago and appeared in only 22 games with the Smokies before the promotion. There is no question Soler can hit. In 22 games with Tennessee this season, Soler hit .415 with 6 HR and 22 RBI over 79 plate appearances. In 2013, Soler hit .281 with 8 HR and 35 RBI in 55 games with the single-A Daytona Cubs.
With Soler joining Javier Baez and Kris Bryant, Iowa will have three of the top five prospects in the Cubs organization on the roster.
Olt makes his return to Iowa after breaking camp with the Cubs out of spring training. There is no questioning Olt’s power as he leads all National League rookies in home runs with 12. However, Olt struggled to make contact at the plate, striking out in 45 percent of his at-bats (84 times in 187 at-bats). As a result, Olt was batting .139 over 72 games. With Bryant firmly planted at third base, Olt will play first base and designated hitter for Iowa.
While no official corresponding moves have been made, it appears Manny Ramirez is headed to the disabled list and Lars Anderson will be sent to double-A Tennessee. The timing for Anderson is unfortunate. Anderson got off to a very slow start with Iowa and after a stint on the disabled list due to dizziness; he has been one of Iowa’s hotter hitters. Over his last ten games, Anderson is hitting .382 (13-for-34) with 3 HR and 11 RBI, including homering in each of the last two games.
With the trade deadline looming for Chicago next Thursday, this isn’t likely to be the end of the shuffling of the roster for Iowa.