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Cubs support top prospect Jorge Soler

Top prospect Jorge Soler puts his helmet as Chicago Cubs get ready for 2013 seasduring their spring training Fitch park

Top prospect Jorge Soler puts on his helmet as the Chicago Cubs get ready for the 2013 season during their spring training at Fitch park in Mesa, AZ on Monday, February 18, 2013. | Brian Powers~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: June 1, 2013 6:42AM



Lately, top Cubs prospect Jorge Soler has been getting as much attention as some of the major leaguers — but it’s not always good.

Class A Daytona manager Dave Keller benched him Sunday for not running hard in two at-bats Saturday against Lakeland. This comes two weeks after the Cuban native was suspended for five games after carrying a bat into a near-altercation with a Clearwater player.

Soler, 21, was in the lineup again Monday.

Team president Theo Epstein said that despite the incidents, Soler “has shown a real interest in learning to play the game the right way.”

Manager Dale Sveum said all players are held accountable.

“You let people know they’re accountable no matter how much money you make or what,’’ he said. “You take care of it and don’t let it fester. We have 125 minor-league players. I’m sure he’s not the only one who hasn’t run out a ball.

“These things get a little skewed because of who he is and what just happened a few weeks ago. Everybody this year will be somewhat lax [at times] because of frustrations or something, so you just try to hold everyone accountable.”

Starting off

Closer Kyuji Fujikawa (forearm muscle strain) threw a bullpen session Monday that “didn’t go real crisp,” Sveum said. “He felt fine and everything, but his location wasn’t where we want it to be.”

He will throw again Thursday and possibly begin a rehab assignment Sunday, Sveum said.

Top draft pick Albert Almora, who had hamate bone surgery on his left hand in March, began doing on-field work Monday for the first time.

Words of support

Sveum added his voice Monday to those supporting NBA player Jason Collins, who revealed in a Sports Illustrated story that he is gay. Collins, 34, is the first active player in a major professional sport to come out.

“I think everybody is entitled to whatever they do in their life,”
Sveum said. “I don’t think it changes anything. It might help a lot of other people.

“It’s part of our culture and society now … It probably will end up being a good thing in the long run.”



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