<
>

Soler still rehabbing in Arizona

CHICAGO -- Chicago Cubs prospect Jorge Soler continues to rehab a sore hamstring in extended spring training in Arizona and his timetable to return to Double-A is undetermined.

"He's hitting in the cage and off the tee," general manager Jed Hoyer said Wednesday afternoon. "We'll try to push that progression forward. We're trying to avoid any kind of re-injury. That's why [we've] continued to taking this kind of conservatively."

Soler has played in only seven games for the Tennessee Smokies -- he has seven doubles in them -- after being injured at the end of spring training. In fact, he has hurt both his hamstrings this season, slowing his progress. He also missed time last year because of foot problems. Hoyer was asked if he was worried about his $30 million investment.

"Not big picture when it comes to him being injury prone," he said. "But I think the concern is losing at-bats. At some point you need to play and go out there and face pitching. It's a big development time to miss."

Soler is part of the "core four" of prospects, which include Javier Baez, Kris Bryant and Albert Almora. Only Bryant is tearing up the competition as the Cubs get ready to add another high-profile player with the No. 4 overall pick in Thursday's amateur draft.

For now, Soler will get his swings in the batting cages in Mesa and he may even run across Manny Ramirez, who reported there recently as a player-coach. Hoyer says he thinks Ramirez can only help.

"Hopefully they'll come in contact with each other," Hoyer said.