Story by 89 WLS Web Writer Kim Rasmussen
Chicago Cubs prospect Jorge Soler was ejected from a Wednesday night game after charging the opposing team's dugout with a bat following a bench-clearing confrontation.
Soler, a 21-year-old Cuban defector, is playing with the Class A Daytona Cubs in the Florida State League. He signed a nine-year, $30-million contract with the Cubs last summer.
The Daytona Beach News Journal reported the incident began when Soler slid into second base during the seventh inning. He and Clearwater Thresher's player Carlos Alonso had words with each other before players from both teams came onto the field to separate the two.
Both sides returned to their dugouts, at which point the News Journal says Soler sprinted back out, bat in hand, towards the Threshers' side.
This is where reports begin to differ. The News Journal says Soler was caught by Cubs teammates before making it to the opposing dugout, never swinging his bat.
Josh Timmers, Bleed Cubbie Blue Minor League Editor, reported that Soler had made it to the dugout and was hitting the walls. However, he later retracted that statement saying he couldn't clearly see what was happening, just that Soler was swinging the bat in that direction.
Nevertheless, Daytona Manager Dave Keller told the News Journal the incident was "kind of like a nightmare."
"I think that he was frustrated by some things and there was some emotional things he was fighting with," Keller told the News Journal after the game. "When he slid into second base, (Alonso) ended up laying on top of him. He was laying on him so (Soler) pushed with his arm to get him off him, and I think the second baseman interpreted that the wrong way like he wanted to fight or something."
"There were two separate incidents, and there was really no fight," Keller told the News Journal. "But beacuse nobody was around him when he was running across the field with a bat ... that makes things a little bit crazy."
The Cubs ended up losing Wednesday's game 14-9 in 11 innings.
Soler is expected to be suspended by the league. It is unclear if the Cubs will take any action against him. Soler has been batting .435 with two home runs and a 1.258 OPS this season.
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