CINCINNATI - The Chicago Cubs today recalled outfielder Jorge Soler and infielder Logan Watkins from Triple-A Iowa. Outfielder Justin Ruggiano has been placed on the 15-day disabled list (retro to August 23) with left ankle inflammation and outfielder Ryan Sweeney has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a left hamstring strain.
Both Soler, who will wear uniform number 68, and Watkins will be available for the Cubs tonight when they continue their series in Cincinnati.
Soler, 22, began the season ranked as the organization's number five prospect by Baseball America and was ranked by MLB.com as the 49th-best prospect in all of baseball. The right-handed batter and thrower combined to hit .340 (68-for-200) with 23 doubles, 15 home runs, 57 RBI, a .432 on-base percentage, a .700 slugging percentage and a 1.132 OPS in 62 games this season across three minor league levels.
The 6-foot-4, 215-pound Soler began the 2014 season at Double-A Tennessee, where despite being slowed by hamstring injuries he batted .415 (27-for-65) with a .494 on-base percentage and .862 slugging percentage in 22 games to earn the promotion to Triple-A Iowa on July 24. In just more than a month with Iowa, Soler batted .282 (31-for-110) with eight homers, 29 RBI, a .378 on-base percentage, a .618 slugging percentage and a .996 OPS in 32 games. He hit a three-run homer in his final Iowa at-bat Monday in Tacoma.
Soler originally signed a nine-year major league deal with the Cubs in June of 2012 out of Cuba. He entered the 2013 campaign ranked by Baseball America as the number three prospect in the organization and batted .281 (59-for-210) with 13 doubles, eight homers and 35 RBI after being limited to 55 games with Single-A Daytona due to a left shin fracture. Nevertheless, he was named to the World Team in the Futures Game that year (did not play due to injury) and recovered to participate in the Arizona Fall League with the Mesa Solar Sox, playing in 20 games.
Overall in 151 career minor league games, Soler has batted .307 (167-for-544) with 300 total bases, 108 runs scored, 43 doubles, three triples, 28 home runs, 117 RBI, a .383 on-base percentage, a .551 slugging percentage and a .934 OPS.
Watkins, who turns 25 on Friday, returns to the Cubs for his second stint this season. He hit .300 (3-for-10) with a double and three RBI in four games with the Cubs last week before being optioned back to Iowa after the game on Sunday. In Triple-A this season, Watkins is batting .256 (83-for-324) with 21 doubles, four home runs and 38 RBI in 103 games.
The left-handed hitting Watkins made his big league debut for the Cubs last year and has a .229 batting average (11-for-48) with two doubles and three RBI in 31 major league games. He was the organization's 2012 Minor League Player of the Year.
Ruggiano, 32, is batting .281 (63-for-224) with 13 doubles, six home runs and 28 RBI in 81 games with the Cubs this season.
Sweeney, 29, is batting .251 (52-for-207) with nine doubles, three home runs and 20 RBI in 77 games with the Cubs this season.