Thursday, April 11, 2013

Cubs prospect Jorge Soler grabs bat, charges other team's dugout

Jorge Soler, the 21-year-old Cuban defector who is rated one of the Chicago Cubs best prospects, had to be restrained by teammates after he grabbed a bat and started to charge the other team's dugout Wednesday night.

Details of the late night incident were sketchy but it was reported that the bat-wielding Soler took offense to a rough play at second base during the Single-A game between the Daytona Cubs and Clearwater Threshers (a Philadelphia Phillies affiliate) at Jackie Robinson Ballpark.

Soler, who was on base, and infielder Carlos Alonso got tangled up at second base with Alonso ending up on top.  Soler apparently took the second baseman's aggressive play as a challenge and claimed he was spiked. The two players exchanged words and the benches cleared but no punches were thrown. Once the field cleared, Soler reportedly grabbed a bat from his dugout and charged towards the Clearwater dugout.

Witnesses said Soler was screaming in front of the Threshers dugout challenging them to a fight but did not swing the bat.

Daytona manager Dave Keller said the moments before coaches managed to drag Soler away were "kind of like a nightmare."

Soler was ejected and will most likely be facing some sort of suspension from the Florida State League and maybe additional discipline from the Cubs.  There might even be grounds for some sort of criminal charges too.

After defecting, Soler got a nine-year, $30 million contract to sign with the Cubs last summer. He was off to a nice start for high-A Daytona, hitting .435 with two homers in 23 at-bats. In his pro debut last year, he hit .299/.369/.463 between Rookie and low-A ball.

The Cubs have refused to comment until they have the full story.

Clearwater went on to win, 14-9, in 11 innings.

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