(CBS) As of early Tuesday afternoon, the Cubs were still waiting on the results of an MRI to determine the severity of the left hamstring injury that outfielder Jorge Soler suffered in Monday’s win.
Because of the Cubs’ big lead in the NL Central and Soler’s soft-tissue injury history, the team will utilize a cautious approach, which makes a disabled-list stint appear likely for Soler. Assuming that’s the case, outfielder Albert Almora is expected to be called up from Triple-A Iowa.
The 22-year-old Almora is rated as the organization’s fifth-best prospect by MLB.com and hitting .318 at Triple-A. So how would manager Joe Maddon utilize him if he gets called up?
“He’s not going to come here to play every day,” Maddon said on the Spiegel and Goff Show. “We’d tried to get him in like everybody else. We have other ways to fix it until Jorge gets back. One of the guys that needs to play a little more right now is Tommy La Stella. He can provide some instant offense against right-handed pitching.”
Maddon referencing more playing time for the infielder La Stella (.280 batting average, .865 OPS) would mean Kris Bryant would see more time in the outfield alongside regulars Dexter Fowler and Jason Heyward. While Almora’s playing time would be here and there, Maddon still had high praise for him. Almora also is heralded for his defensive ability, so he could perhaps be a late-game replacement.
“The two spring trainings I’ve seen him, he’s had great spring trainings,” Maddon said. “He’s a really good baseball player, a fine outfielder.
“He’s got increasingly better the past few years, a great kid, outstanding. He fits the culture.”
Listen to Maddon’s full interview below.