Soler expected to rejoin Cubs in Cincinnati

Soler expected to rejoin Cubs in Cincinnati

PITTSBURGH -- Cubs outfielder Jorge Soler, sidelined because of soreness on his right side, is expected to rejoin the team in Cincinnati this weekend for the final regular-season series. His status will affect how the Cubs finalize their roster for the National League Division Series, which begins Oct. 7.

Soler underwent a second MRI on his right side on Monday because he was still experiencing some discomfort. He came out of a Sept. 16 game because of soreness and underwent an MRI at that time as well. Both tests have been clean, but Soler has had just four at-bats over two games since then, making one start.

The Cubs do have other options in left field if Soler can't play, but he did hit .474 in seven postseason games last year.

"It's just about getting game-speed at-bats, just get that adrenaline thing, seeing the ball well," manager Joe Maddon said. "Sometimes guys take a little break and they come back and the ball looks like a beach ball. I'm not overly concerned. He's on a good path now."

Among the Cubs' other outfield options are Chris Coghlan and rookie Albert Almora Jr., who has impressed Maddon.

"The thing I've learned about [Almora] is that he's not intimidated by stuff," Maddon said.

Worth noting
The Dodgers have announced their postseason rotation for the NLDS against the Nationals.

"I'm really jealous," Maddon said.

Maddon wasn't ready to reveal the Cubs' NLDS starters yet. It might depend on who the Cubs will play. They will face the winner of the NL Wild Card Game, which will be played Oct. 5.

"We have not had the final meeting," Maddon said of talks regarding the postseason roster. "There's really no rush to judgment. I think it's more fun to create conjecture. There's so many different things to write."

Maddon even suggested the media write a different combination every day. To start conversation, the Cubs could start Jon Lester, then Kyle Hendricks, who have both thrived at Wrigley Field, and follow with Jake Arrieta in Game 3 on the road.

"Throw it against the wall, see what sticks," Maddon said.

Whatever happens, the order will not change based on the opponent, he said.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.