Jorge Soler takes batting practice for first time since ankle injury

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Jorge Soler has been sidelined since June 1 due to a left ankle sprain, but he’s getting closer to rejoining the Cubs.

According to Tony Andracki of CSNChicago.com, Soler was able to take batting practice yesterday for the first time since the injury. He resumed throwing over the weekend and was recently able to shed his walking boot. He’s likely not far off from a minor league rehab assignment at this point.

After a strong showing during his first stint in the majors this season, the 23-year-old Soler was off to a bit of a slow start prior to the injury, batting .265/.322/.402 with four home runs and 19 RBI over 49 games. Chris Denorfia is playing right field in his absence.

Joe Kelly’s suspension reduced to 5 games on appeal

Joe Kelly suspended eight
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LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly had his suspension for throwing pitches near the heads of Houston hitters reduced to five games on appeal.

Kelly was originally penalized eight games by Major League Baseball on July 29, a day after throwing a 96 mph fastball near the head of Houston’s Alex Bregman and two curveballs that brushed back Carlos Correa.

The Dodgers on Wednesday confirmed the reduced penalty.

Kelly went on the 10-day injured list retroactive to last Sunday with right shoulder inflammation. He will serve his suspension when he returns.

After striking out Corea, Kelly curled his lip into a pouting expression and exchanged words with the shortstop.

Benches cleared after Kelly’s actions during the sixth inning of Los Angeles’ 5-2 win at Houston in the teams’ first meeting since it was revealed the Astros stole signs en route to a 2017 World Series title over the Dodgers.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts served his one-game suspension the same day the penalty was handed down. Astros manager Dusty Baker was fined an undisclosed amount.

Kelly denied that he purposely threw at the Astros. He has previously been suspended in his career for throwing at a batter.

The penalties were imposed by former pitcher Chris Young, MLB’s senior vice president of baseball operations, who issued his first ruling since taking over the job from Joe Torre.