#Cubs Soler to rejoin team Sunday

Muskat Ramblings

Jorge Soler, sidelined since June 3 with a sprained left ankle, will be activated from the disabled list on Sunday. Soler played nine innings on Friday for Triple-A Iowa, his fourth rehab game. He was 2-for-13, but manager Joe Maddon said he wasn’t that concerned about the statistics.

“I don’t worry about that stuff,” Maddon said Saturday. “To me, it’s a matter of if he’s healthy and he’s seeing the ball, what does his timing look like, those are the kind of things you’re trying to get from the guys down there.”

The Cubs are hoping Soler can give the lineup some much needed punch. The rookie was batting .265 with four home runs and 19 RBIs in 49 games before he was sidelined. He picked it up in May, batting .288 in 28 games.

— Carrie Muskat

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#Cubs Bryant has grand 4th of July

Muskat Ramblings

Kris Bryant ignited the fireworks at Wrigley Field a little early in Saturday’s 7-2 Cubs win over the Marlins.

The rookie belted two home runs, including his second career grand slam, and drove in six runs in the first two innings. The effort was Bryant’s second career multihomer game, and he now leads all Major League rookies as well as all Cubs players with 49 RBIs.

“It was him — that was our offense tonight,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “Without that, this game is entirely different. It was nice to get him going.”

Marlins starter Jarred Cosart served up both of Bryant’s homers. The Cubs rookie belted a two-run homer in the first and his slam in the second, then made a brief curtain call before the crowd of 37,898.

“Those are always fun,” Bryant said of the salute to the fans. “It means you’re doing something good.”

This…

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Rangers option Chi Chi Gonzalez back to Triple-A

HardballTalk

With Matt Harrison on his way back — now slated to start on Wednesday against the Diamondbacks — the Rangers have optioned rookie Chi Chi Gonzalez to Triple-A Round Rock. Anthony Ranaudo has been promoted from Triple-A and will serve as a long man out of the bullpen until Wednesday.

Gonzalez, 23, was hammered in two of his last three starts following a strong start to the season. Over seven starts in total, the right-hander posted a 3.74 ERA with a 15/19 K/BB ratio in 43 1/3 innings.

Harrison underwent spinal fusion surgery last year. He has made six rehab appearances starting on June 3. In his most recent start, he allowed three runs in six innings on seven hits and four walks with six strikeouts.

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Angels Assault Rangers In Lopsided 13-0 Win

CBS Los Angeles

ARLINGTON  (AP) — Hector Santiago pitched seven innings in another superb outing at Texas, C.J. Cron had three hits with a career-high six RBIs and the Angels beat the Rangers 13-0 on Saturday night.

Santiago (5-4) scattered three hits and struck out three with one walk to get his first win in six starts since May 29. The left-hander is 5-0 with a 1.64 ERA in eight career games (six starts) at Texas.

Cron put the Angels ahead 1-0 when he had their fourth consecutive single to start the second inning against Wandy Rodriguez (5-4).

After a sac fly an inning later, Cron’s three-run homer in the sixth made it 11-0 and he had an RBI double in the eighth. Cron had only eight RBIs in his first 39 games this season.

Santiago has a 2.40 ERA this season and finally got some real run support. He left after 104…

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Braves president John Hart: “It’s not like I’m breaking up the ’27 Yankees”

HardballTalk

The Braves traded Jason Heyward to the Cardinals last month in a deal that netted them Shelby Miller. It wasn’t a popular move with the fan base, but it was deemed necessary with Heyward one year away from free agency. Some more familiar faces could soon be on the move, with Justin Upton and Evan Gattis reportedly on the block, but new Braves president John Hart indicated to Jeff Schultz of the Atlanta Journal-Constitutionthat a change in direction doesn’t bother him.

“Let’s be honest: This team finished 29th in offense,” Hart said. “It’s not like I’m breaking up the ’27 Yankees.”

That’s a pretty decent line. Hart denies that the team is in tear-down mode, and the recent signing of Nick Markakis would seem to back that up, but he also realizes that they aren’t ready to compete with the Nationals. They also owe $28 million combined to…

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Dioner Navarro and Alex Avila could be fits for Diamondbacks

OutsidePitchMLB LLC

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images North America Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images North America

The Arizona Diamondbacks need a catcher after trading away Miguel Montero to the Chicago Cubs. But GM Dave Stewart might have found his replacement or at least an idea.

Stewart told AZcentral’s Nick Piecaro that Toronto Blue Jays catcher Dioner Navarro and Detroit Tigers catcher Alex Avila could fill the hole behind the plate.

Navarro hit .274 with 69 RBIs last year. The 30 year old is penciled into Toronto’s designated hitters spot after the team signed Russell Martin to a five year deal. Navarro is a good defensive catcher and had a 2.3 WAR. He would be a good fit with Arizona.Navarro has on year left on his contract.

Avila, who is set to become…

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Josh Collmenter is the Diamondbacks’ projected Opening Day starter

HardballTalk

After officially dealing left-hander Wade Miley to the Red Sox yesterday for Allen Webster, Rubby De La Rosa, and infield prospect Raymel Flores, Diamondbacks general manager Dave Stewart addressed the state of his starting rotation. It looks, uh, pretty iffy going into 2015:

Collmenter is coming off a nice season in which he posted a 3.46 ERA over 28 starts and five relief appearances, but going into 2015 with him as your No. 1 starter doesn’t exactly inspire confidence. As for the fifth spot in the rotation, the Diamondbacks have a host of candidates, including Vidal Nuno, Robbie Ray, Randall Delgado, Andrew Chafin, Trevor Cahill, Chase Anderson, and Daniel Hudson. Patrick Corbin and Bronson Arroyo should be back from Tommy John surgery at some…

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