Cubs prospect Jorge Soler has been suspended five games by the Florida State League following last night’s incident in which he grabbed a bat and went after the opposing team’s dugout.
Soler was dragged away by coaches before any physical contact was made and the whole thing followed the benches clearing after Soler and an infielder got tangled up at second base.
Team president Theo Epstein addressed the situation shortly before the suspension was handed down, telling reporters that Soler is “tremendously remorseful” and the Cubs “condemn the action but support the player.”
Soler, who defected from Cuba last year at age 20, signed a nine-year, $30 million contract with the Cubs and has hit .318 with seven homers and an .895 OPS in 40 pro games.
No surprise here: Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for the Red Sox, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports. The Red Sox open the season on March 29 in Tampa Bay against the Rays. Sale will oppose Chris Archer.
Sale, 28, is the fifth different Opening Day starter the Red Sox have had in as many years, preceded by Rick Porcello, David Price, Clay Buchholz, and Jon Lester. Sale started on Opening Day for the White Sox in 2013, ’14, and ’16.
Sale finished second in AL Cy Young Award balloting last year and finished ninth for AL MVP. He went 17-8 with a 2.90 ERA and a 308/43 K/BB ratio in 214 1/3 innings. Sale and Clayton Kershaw (2015) are the only pitchers to strike out 300 or more batters in a season dating back to 2003.