After suffering a hamstring injury in Monday night’s victory over the Phillies, Cubs outfielder Jorge Soler was placed on the 15-day disabled list.
This opens the door for highly touted prospect and former first-round draft pick, Albert Almora. But, don’t expect Almora to become an everyday player.
“He’s not going to come here to play every day,” Maddon said on the Spiegel and Goff Show on WSCR. “We’d tried to get him in like everybody else. We have other ways to fix it until Jorge gets back.”
Those other ways that Maddon speaks of include getting more playing time for Javier Baez as well as Tommy La Stella. Either of these guys can play the hot corner well, so expect them to play 3rd base while Kris Bryant mans left field. Bryant has become comfortable in the outfield, he’s started 13 games in left this season and has also been double switched to left in 17 other games.
After seeing the success of Bryant and Kyle Schwarber at the major league level, Cubs fans have patiently waited to see what Almora can do. He’s slashing .318/.335/.444 at AAA-Iowa this season. While his on-base percentage is low, it’s an improvement from 2014 on-base percentage of .270.
Almora is also known for his stingy defense in the outfield. If Dexter Fowler decides to explore free agency after this year, there’s a good chance that Almora becomes an every day starter by next year.
Even though he’s not expected to make the type of instant-impact that Bryant and Schwarber did, many believe Almora will make his presence felt at Wrigley. The 22-year-old Almora may not be a key to a possible World Series run this season, but he’ll learn plenty from Cubs outfielders Dexter Fowler and Jason Heyward.