As new kids come up, remember Soler is up-and-coming too


Kris Bryant and Addison Russell are the “now” storylines for the Chicago Cubs this week.

But don’t forget about Jorge Soler.

Soler was 4-for-5 with a pair of runs scored Monday in the Cubs’ win over the Pittsburgh Pirates. He is now hitting .320 and has a seven-game hit streak.

Since Soler’s debut Aug. 27, the one thing that has been evident is that if a pitch is in the strike zone, he is likely to mash it. In his past 10 games, he is 13-of-29 in at-bats that end with a pitch in the strike zone.

Soler’s numbers through a dozen games are similar in most respects to those he put up in a 24-game stretch the past season, in areas such as how often he has missed on his swings and how often he chases pitches. Soler ended the past season by going 4-for-28 in his last seven games, but he has fought back as pitchers have adjusted to his weaknesses.

The quality of swings has been better in the short term. The past season, Soler had 10 line drives among the 64 balls he put in play. This season, he has 10 line drives on 34 balls in play.

The Cubs are definitely better for his presence. They’re 19-17 when Soler has played, dating to the past season.