PHILADELPHIA – The Cubs outfield keeps taking nearly as many hits as they deliver in the early going this season.
On Monday night, it was left fielder Jorge Soler’s turn, facing another possible trip to the disabled list after injuring his left hamstring running to first in the third inning.
Soler, who injured the same hamstring two years ago in the minors, said it didn’t feel as severe this time. But he’s scheduled to have an MRI Tuesday, and the Cubs aren’t likely to take chances with an injury of this nature, especially with a player who has been on the DL five times in the last three seasons (twice with hamstrings).
“Hamstrings are nasty, and he’s had a history,” manager Joe Maddon said.
If Soler winds up on the disabled list, Maddon said top outfield prospect Albert Almora, who’s off to a strong start at AAA Iowa, could get the call for a big-league debut.
“He absolutely should be [in the conversation],” Maddon said of the No. 6 overall pick in the 2012 draft.
Soler is expected to be the fourth Cubs outfielder sidelined this year because of injury. Kyle Schwarber suffered a season-ending knee injury the third game of the season; Matt Szczur spent 2 ½ weeks on the DL last month because of a hamstring injury; and right fielder Jason Heyward has missed several days each for a wrist injury and bruised side.
Soler, who also had an infield hit and made a leaping catch at the wall in left Monday, has been warming at the plate in recent weeks, earning more playing time (14-for-44 in his last 17 games).
Soler, with the help of coach Henry Blanco translating from Spanish, called the timing “frustrating.”
“You hate to see it ever happen, but now of all times,” said Heyward. “I hate it for him, and I hate it for us. He’s been outstanding.”