Jorge Soler likely headed for disabled list with fractured left foot

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Royals right fielder Jorge Soler made a hasty exit from Friday’s 7-3 loss to the Astros after fracturing the first metatarsal bone of his left foot. He incurred the injury on a groundout in the sixth inning, after which he was swiftly replaced by Whit Merrifield in the outfield corner. A definite timetable won’t be set for Soler’s return until he undergoes a CT scan on Saturday, but club manager Ned Yost has already projected a lengthy recovery for the outfielder, and MLB.com’s Rustin Dodd adds that a similar injury kept the Nationals’ Jayson Werth out of commission for over two months last season.

While Soler has steered clear of any major injury so far in 2018, this is the second time he’s injured his left foot in a week’s time. He sustained a minor bone bruise after fouling a ball off of his foot on June 8, though that doesn’t appear to have affected the severity of his newest injury.

Prior to his injury in the sixth inning, Soler went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts against the Astros’ Charlie Morton. That’s hardly indicative of the career-best numbers he’s been putting up so far this season: a .268/.358/.473 batting line, nine home runs and an .831 OPS through 254 plate appearances. While Soler’s official replacement has yet to be named, Adalberto Mondesi might see some time at the keystone if the Royals elect to keep infielder/outfielder Merrifield in the outfield corner this summer.

Phillies select active duty Navy aviator in MLB Rule 5 draft

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SAN DIEGO — The Philadelphia Phillies took U.S. Navy aviator Noah Song in the Rule 5 draft Wednesday, hoping the former top pitching prospect can still be effective once he completes his military service.

There is no definitive date on when the 25-year-old Song might be able to join the Phillies.

Song was picked from the Boston Red Sox system in the draft for unprotected minor league players. Philadelphia put him on the military list while he continues his active duty and he won’t count on the 40-man roster, the pool from which major league teams can select players for the 26-man active roster.

Song impressed in his only pro season, making seven starts for Boston’s Class A Lowell affiliate in 2019, with a 1.06 ERA and 19 strikeouts in 17 innings. With a fastball clocked in the upper 90s mph, the right-hander dominated that year as a senior at the U.S. Naval Academy, going 11-1 with a 1.44 ERA and 161 strikeouts in 94 innings.

The Red Sox drafted Song in the fourth round – he likely would’ve gone much higher, but his impending military service caused teams to back off.

In November 2019, Defense Secretary Mark Esper signed a memo clearing the way for athletes at the nation’s military academies to delay their service commitments and play pro sports after graduation. Song’s request to have those new rules retroactively applied to his case was denied.

Song began school as a flight officer in the summer of 2020 and finished that phase last April. He started additional aviation training in May.

Song was among the 15 players, including three Boston pitchers, taken in the big league phase of the Rule 5 draft, which wasn’t held last year because of the MLB lockout.

Washington took righty Thad Ward from Boston’s Triple-A roster with the first pick. Baltimore took Red Sox minor league pitcher Andrew Politi with the ninth choice and the Phillies chose Song with the 11th selection.

Teams pay $100,000 to take players in the major league portion of the Rule 5 draft. The players must stay on the big league roster next season or go on waivers and, if unclaimed, be offered back to their original organization for $50,000.