CHICAGO -- Cubs prospect Jorge Soler is sidelined again this season, this time with a right hamstring strain.
Soler, who had a left hamstring strain in Spring Training, was examined by Cubs doctors in Chicago. The outfielder, who is playing for Double-A Tennessee, is now on a new program to promote better muscular balance, according to Cubs player development director Jason McLeod.
Soler will rehab at the Cubs' facility in Mesa, Ariz., and then rejoin the Tennessee team.
The Cuban outfielder has played just seven games, batting .333 (8-for-24) with seven doubles and seven RBIs.
Hall of Famer Jenkins to represent Cubs at Draft
CHICAGO -- Fergie Jenkins is one of four Hall of Famers who will be among the baseball legends representing the 30 teams at Major League Baseball's First-Year Player Draft on June 5.
The Cubs have the fourth pick overall in the Draft.
The 2014 Draft will take place on June 5-7, beginning with the Draft preview show on MLB.com and MLB Network on Thursday, June 5, at 5 p.m. CT. Live Draft coverage from MLB Network's Studio 42 begins at 6 p.m. CT, with the top 74 picks being streamed on MLB.com and broadcast on MLB Network. MLB.com's exclusive coverage of the second and third days will begin with a live Draft show at 11:30 a.m. CT on June 6.
MLB.com's coverage includes Draft Central, the Top 100 Draft Prospects list and Draft Tracker, a live interactive application that includes a searchable database of Draft-eligible players. Every selection will be tweeted live from @MLBDraftTracker, and you can also keep up to date by following @MLBDraft. And get into the Draft conversation by tagging your tweets with #mlbdraft.
Jenkins, 71, pitched 10 seasons for the Cubs (1966-73, 1982-83), and he won 20 games in six straight seasons. He also totaled at least 289 innings each of those seasons. With the Cubs, Jenkins was 167-132 with 154 complete games, 29 shutouts and a 3.20 ERA. He finished his 19-year career, which also included stops with the Phillies, Rangers, and Red Sox, with 284 wins and a 3.34 ERA.
Hammel expects to start despite 'swollen' hand
CHICAGO -- Jason Hammel still had the seam marks on his right hand to prove the Cubs pitcher was struck by Brett Gardner's line drive on Tuesday night. Gardner was the Yankees' leadoff man, and it wasn't a good way to start the game.
"When it hit me, I thought my hand exploded," Hammel said Wednesday.
But the right-hander stayed in the game, and he went 5 2/3 innings in a 6-1 win over the Yankees. On Wednesday, he arrived late at the clubhouse because he could only pack for the team's road trip with his left hand. X-rays taken Tuesday were negative, and Hammel pronounced he was good to go for his next start Sunday against the Padres.
"It's just swollen," he said. "I would assume a couple days of soreness. I think it'll be all right."
Cubs manager Rick Renteria said it was "scary" to watch Hammel get struck with the liner, but he was encouraged after talking to the pitcher Wednesday.
"He feels better than he thought he would, and the swelling isn't as significant as he thought it would be," Renteria said. "Fortunately for us, he's a gamer. He stayed in there."
Hammel didn't get much sleep Tuesday because he would flex his hand every now and then and also treated it with an ice pack.
"In my game plan, I'm going to make that start [Sunday]," he said. "If I can go after getting hit, I can start."
Rondon steps in after Ramirez's pitch count rises
CHICAGO -- The Yankees had two on and two out in the ninth inning Tuesday night against the Cubs, and manager Rick Renteria didn't want to use Hector Rondon, but he was also concerned about rookie Neil Ramirez's pitch count, which prompted a late switch to get the final out.
The Cubs led 6-1 when Ramirez started the ninth. Ramirez struck out Alfonso Soriano before Yangervis Solarte singled and moved up on Brian Roberts' groundout. But Ramirez couldn't retire pinch-hitter Ichiro Suzuki, walking him. Renteria said Wednesday if Ramirez hadn't reached 22 pitches, he would've faced Brett Gardner.
"He came out of the game and felt he shouldn't have walked that last batter and should've gotten the out," Renteria said of Ramirez. "We're still mindful of his pitch count."
Rondon, who is the unofficial Cubs closer, walked Gardner to load the bases to load the bases, but got Derek Jeter to ground out and end the game. The right-hander had to do so in a heavy downpour, and there was fear that the umpires would stop the game. How bad was it?
"I couldn't see home plate," Rondon said. "The mound was terrible with the water."
What did he do? He pulled down his cap brim as far as he could and got Jeter out.
Rizzo visits young patients, including ones with cancer
CHICAGO -- Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo took time on Tuesday to visit patients at the Family Life Center of the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital.
Rizzo played games, did arts and crafts, signed autographs and took photos with the patients. He also visited the infusion center on the pediatric oncology floor and talked to cancer patients.
Rizzo's Family Foundation raised $140,000 at the second "Cook-Off for Cancer" fundraiser held last Friday at Revel Downtown in Chicago. The money will be used to help and support families with children fighting cancer.
"The direction the foundation is going is really nice to see; it's growing and we just want to continue to do this in Chicago," Rizzo said.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.