Cleat Geeks

Wrigley Weekly Wrap-up

The Cubs recalled outfielder Albert Almora Jr. from Triple-A Iowa last week to fill the roster spot of Jorge Soler, who was placed on the disabled list after an MRI revealed that he suffered a strained hamstring during a 6-4 Cubs victory last Monday night. The team said Soler will be on the DL for at least 15 days, but AlbertAlmorathey don’t know how much longer he’ll be sidelined until they see how he progresses in his rehab. Almora was the sixth overall pick by the Cubs in the 2012 first-year player draft. He was hitting .318 with a .779 OPS in 54 games with the Iowa Cubs this season.

Almora made his first major-league start last Wednesday afternoon when the Cubs took on the Phillies in the series finale. He made a catch and threw to home plate to nail Odubel Herrera to complete a double play in the first inning. “That was a big play,” Joe Maddon said. “That took anything away, momentum-wise.” Almora also chipped in with an RBI single for his first major-league hit in the eighth. Almora’s call-up comes at a fragile time for his family because his father, Albert Sr., has been undergoing radiation treatments for prostate cancer. “It was unbelievable. I can’t even begin to describe how that phone call went,” Almora said of telling his father the news. “After we talked about what’s going to happen, we just talked about life. It was so positive. I know he wishes he could be here, 100 percent. But I understand [why he’s not]. His health comes before the game of baseball. I’m just happy where he is right now, as well.”

Soler was playing a more prominent role than expected in the outfield since Kyle Schwarber’s season ended with a knee injury. Soler is hitting .223 with a .699 OPS with five home runs and 13 RBIs in 130 at-bats this season. He had been on a tear lately, with a .318 batting average over his previous 17 games. He had hits in both of his at-bats Monday. Soler hurt himself sprinting down the line in the third inning after a single to left field. He was replaced by pinch runner Matt Szczur. Soler said he felt something in his hamstring about two steps before reaching the first-base bag. He had previously suffered strains to his right and left hamstrings in the minor leagues during the 2014 season.

ORG XMIT: 477587961 CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 13: Chris Coghlan #8 of the Chicago Cubs htis a double in the 1st inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Wrigley Field on August 13, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Chris Coghlan is back! The Cubs traded minor league infielder/outfielder Arismendy Alcantara to the Oakland Athletics late last week in exchange for outfielder Chris Coghlan, just months after trading Coghlan to Oakland. Coghlan was hitting .146 for the Athletics this year, but he hit .250 last season for the Cubs with a career high 16 home runs to go with 41 RBIs. He was a big part of the Cubs’ second-half surge last season helping them secure a wild-card berth. Coghlan was a platoon player in his two years with the Cubs, who found a need for him after Kyle Schwarber and Jorge Soler went down with injuries. Tommy La Stella injured his hamstring in the Phillies series and though the injury isn’t deemed serious, he is likely to go on the disabled list to make room for Coghlan. Alcantara is batting .264 with five home runs for Triple-A Iowa after appearing in 81 big league games over the past two seasons.


The second National League All-Star Game Ballot update was released last Wednesday and the Cubs are still dominating. Anthony Rizzo leads all NL players, while Cubs top the list of every position but catcher. Kris Bryant leads Rockies’ Nolan Arenado by about 300,000 votes and Ben Zobrist’s 1,140,808 votes are about 400,000 more than the Nationals’ Daniel Murphy. Dexter Fowler and Addison Russell lead at outfield and shortstop and they are locked in tight battles for the top spot. Bryce Harper and Trevor Story are not that far behind in votes. At catcher, the only position the Cubs don’t lead, Miguel Montero trails Yadier Molina and Buster Posey. Jason Heyward is fourth in outfield voting and Jorge Soler is sixth.


The Cubs had no picks in the first two rounds of the 2016 draft, but with their first pick coming in the third-round they selected right-handed pitcher Thomas Hatch. Hatch, from Oklahoma State, was selected 104th overall. He was one of seven right-handers the Cubs selected with their eight picks on the second day of the draft. Hatch missed last year with an elbow injury that did not require surgery, but he was able to bounce back. He was chosen as Big 12 Pitcher of the Year after going 7-2 with a 2.16 ERA in 16 starts.

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