CHICAGO -- Hopefully for the Chicago Cubs, right fielder Jorge Soler will get back to being himself once the cold weather finally leaves for good. Right now, cold weather or not, he just doesn't look comfortable at the plate. And this has been going on for a while.
Soler leads the league with 49 strikeouts after adding two more to his total on Wednesday. He had a chance to be the hero in the ninth inning with no outs and the bases loaded in a 1-1 game, instead, he struck out on five pitches. Overall, he went 0-for-4 leaving five men on-base, one day after leaving seven on. But Maddon isn't worried for one reason: Soler has a history of showing good plate discipline.
"There's an old scout saying, if a guy has done that, he's going to do it again," Maddon has said repeatedly.
He's probably right. Soler has too much raw talent to just lose everything that made him who he is. And it's not like his overall numbers, .271/.329, are incredibly awful -- he had two hits in Tuesday's game. More than anything, he's being anxious, swinging at pitches outside the zone and not being patient in "clutch" situations. With men in scoring position and two outs Soler is 0-for-13 this season with nine strikeouts. With a man on third and less than two outs he also doesn't have a hit, though he has two sacrifice flies. It's in him, but it's not in there now.
"Prodigious talent," Maddon said. "He's going to come back to it. He's a monster player in the making. He's just going through a rough patch right now."