WASHINGTON – Jorge Soler stood at his locker with a walking boot covering his left foot on Saturday morning inside the visiting clubhouse at Nationals Park.
It might be overly optimistic, but the Cubs outfielder doesn’t think this sprained ankle will keep him on the disabled for more than 15 days.
“I feel real good right now,” Soler said through interpreter/coach Franklin Font.
The timing frustrated Soler, who seemed to be getting into more of a rhythm, hitting .288 with a .759 OPS in May. He got injured on June 1 in Miami, landing awkwardly on first base while trying to hustle for an infield single.
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Soler had dealt with a series of leg injuries over the last two seasons, but managed to go 49-for-49 in games played until that moment.
“I’ll be able to maintain and keep my body healthy,” Soler said. “I’ll keep working to maintain that for the rest of the season.”
Soler, 23, missed a significant amount of development time while defecting from Cuba and trying to get his professional career started. He’s played 34, 55 and 86 games across the last three seasons.
Soler hasn’t quite been the powerful, patient hitter the Cubs advertised (four homers, 67 strikeouts), but he has so much potential and definitely brought a presence to this lineup (50 hits).
The Cubs also have to be wondering when/if Soler will hit the rookie wall, but hitting consultant Manny Ramirez (obviously) looked at that in a different light.
“It’s a good test for him,” Ramirez said. “I’m pretty sure the second half he’s going to do way better, because he’s getting to know all the pitchers and what they’re trying to do with him. It’s about making that adjustment.”