Rafael Soriano’s road to the Cubs moves up to Triple-A

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Rafael Soriano remains in the minors five weeks after signing with the Cubs, but the 34-year-old reliever has been promoted to Triple-A.

Soriano’s deal is worth a prorated share of $4.1 million, plus up to $4 million in incentives based on appearances, so his potential earnings are rapidly vanishing.

Soriano has yet to allow a run over six innings in the minors, striking out seven and walking three while giving up four hits. He struggled down the stretch for the Nationals last season while being stripped of closer duties, but Soriano still finished the year with a 3.19 ERA and has posted a sub-3.25 ERA in eight of the past nine seasons.

If the Cubs have plans to eventually make Soriano the closer they’re sure taking their sweet time with it.

Donaldson ejected for kicking dirt on plate after home run

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Minnesota’s Josh Donaldson managed to get ejected while hitting a home run.

Donaldson barked at plate umpire Dan Bellino for the second time in the sixth inning of a 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.

With the score 2-2, Bellino called a strike when the 2015 AL MVP checked his swing on a 2-0 pitch from Reynaldo Lopez.

Manager Rocco Baldelli came out to speak with Bellino, and Donaldson homered down the left-field line on the next offering. After rounding the bases, Donaldson kicked dirt at home plate as he crossed it.

Bellino ejected him immediately, and Donaldson, realizing he had missed home plate, returned to the plate to touch it and then argued as he kicked more dirt on it.

Donaldson also had argued with Bellino on a 1-1 breaking ball in the first inning that appeared to be high but was called a strike, leading to a strikeout.

“We need Josh on the field, out there playing, and at third base,” Baldelli said. “That’s when we’re at our best. And so that’s really the end of it. I think we can move past it at his point, and go from here.”

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