By Fred Mitchell
CINCINNATI — Rick Renteria has an immediate plan for Jorge Soler.
But it does not include any animated message or inspirational pep talk when the talented Cuban slugger is expected to make his big league debut Wednesday night against the Reds.
“We will probably welcome him, obviously,” Renteria said. “But I haven’t done (anything special) with any of the other guys, other than making sure that they know the signs.
“I want (the young call-ups) to know simply that they are going to play the game. They are here to show us what they have in the context of the team framework. And I think they will do fine. The development system, we’re very proud of because they have had a lot of these guys and they have done a nice job with them. We are very comfortable when they get here.”
Renteria does seem to have a solid inclination as to how he will use Soler on Wednesday at Great American Ball Park. He said he likely will deploy him in right field and have him bat fifth or sixth.
One of several talented young sluggers in the Cubs system, Soler comes with excellent credentials: 15 homers and 57 RBIs with a .340 batting average in 62 games for three Cubs farm teams this season.
“I saw him in spring training a little bit,” said rookie pitcher Kyle Hendricks, who missed Soler’s stay with Triple-A Iowa. “I am anxious see him after all of the hype I’ve heard. I’m excited to see what it is all about.”
Anthony Rizzo added this about Soler: “He is a big athlete, a big person (6-feet-4, 215 pounds). He has been doing great in the minors, hopefully it translates up here.”