MILWAUKEE -- Third-ranked prospect Jorge Soler has a stress fracture of his left tibia and will be sidelined four to six weeks, but the Cubs are hopeful the Cuban outfielder can return to game action before the season ends.
Soler, 21, was examined by the Cubs' medical staff in Chicago on Wednesday. He will rehab in Mesa, Ariz. The outfielder was named to the World Team for the 2013 Sirius XM All-Star Futures Game to be played July 14, but will not play.
"It's too bad, because there's obviously a chance it could be until the end of the year [when he can come back]," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said Thursday. "To lose two months of development -- and this is his first year playing every day, and now you miss out on the first season of playing 142 games every day -- it's unfortunate. Hopefully, he can play winter ball somewhere and pick up some at-bats."
Soler hit .281 with eight home runs, 13 doubles, one triple and 35 RBIs in 55 games with Class A Daytona. He apparently fouled a ball off his left shin in Spring Training, and the injury flared up before the Florida State League All-Star Game. He has not played since June 13.
"Those stress fractures can be hard to diagnose because they don't show up right away on the MRI and some symptoms return months down the line sometimes," said Theo Epstein, president of baseball operations.
Double-A Tennessee infielder Arismendy Alcantara, also named to the World Team, had a similar injury last year. Soler will have to wear a walking boot for now.
"If he gets back and plays again this year and can play in the Fall League, it should make up for [missed time]," Epstein said.
The Cubs are pleased with the outfielder's progress.
"He showed a really advanced feel for working at-bats, and for a guy who hadn't played baseball for a couple years except for a short time last year, he fit right in," Epstein said. "He started out hot. We made some slight swing adjustments with him with his load to affect his bat path and make it not quite as steep. He really took to it. I think that's a good sign to show he has the ability to make adjustments, and he took it right into the game."
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less