Rookie milestones stack up for Cubs’ Jorge Soler
BY GORDON WITTENMYER Staff Reporter August 30, 2014 10:58PM
Updated: August 31, 2014 2:36AM
ST. LOUIS — Another day, another piece of baseball history for the Cubs’ Jorge Soler in his first week in the big leagues.
The Cubs’ $30 million rookie outfielder doubled home a run in his first at-bat of Saturday’s nightcap of a doubleheader against the St. Louis Cardinals, making him the first major-league player since the RBI became an official stat in 1920 to have an extra-base hit and an RBI in each of his first four games.
The Cubs lost the second game 13-2, settling for a split after winning the opener 5-1.
Soler, one of eight players to make their major-league debut with the Cubs this season, already joined rookie Javy Baez among only three players in history with three home runs in their first three career games (also Joe Cunningham, 1954 Cardinals).
“It’s fun to watch. It feels like every day something’s going to happen,” said Logan Watkins, another Cubs rookie, who homered and singled filling in for Soler in right field during the Cubs’ victory in the opener.
“There’s too much talent on this team for a pitcher to just run through us every day,” Watkins said. “We’re going to do something every day to give us a chance to win.”
Soler will get scheduled days off in the final month as the Cubs continue the cautious approach they have taken with him since injuries to each hamstring cost him half the season and put him on the disabled list twice.
Rizzo sits out weekend
First baseman Anthony Rizzo’s back problems are persistent and severe enough that the Cubs decided Saturday morning to hold him out of the rest of the Cards series and re-evaulate him Monday when they open a weeklong homestand.
“[Saturday was] a lot better. But we’re just going to give it some time,” said Rizzo, who hit in the batting cage without issue, but couldn’t get through pregame running without the sore muscle “grabbing.”
“It’s frustrating. It’s something I wasn’t too worried about,” he added. “Hopefully, another couple days of rest will calm it down.”
He hasn’t played since leaving rain-delayed game on Tuesday in Cincinnati in the eighth inning.
Felix the cool cat
Felix Doubront, who went 2-4 with a 6.07 ERA before being acquired from the Boston Red Sox in a trade deadline deal a month ago, gave up just one run in an impressive seven-inning debut for the Cubs in the opener.
It was his first appearance at Busch Stadium since two relief stints in last year’s World Series.
“This is my team now,” said Doubront, who will remain in a six-man Cubs rotation the rest of the season. “I have to give everything 100 percent and help the guys win games. I’m looking forward with this team.
“I want to stay here and do the best job that I can.”