PITTSBURGH -- Cubs outfielder Jorge Soler remained in Chicago to undergo a second MRI on his right side, which did not reveal any damage. Soler could rejoin the team in Cincinnati for the final regular-season series."I was told the side bothers him, nothing horrible, nothing to be highly concerned about,
PITTSBURGH -- Cubs outfielder Jorge Soler remained in Chicago to undergo a second MRI on his right side, which did not reveal any damage. Soler could rejoin the team in Cincinnati for the final regular-season series.
"I was told the side bothers him, nothing horrible, nothing to be highly concerned about, but we kept him back for the tests," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said Tuesday of Soler.
Soler came out of a game on Sept. 16 with a sore right side, and he underwent an MRI at that time. That test was clean, but he's had four at-bats since over two games and has made one start.
The Cubs do have other options in left field if Soler can't play, but he did bat .474 in seven postseason games last year.
• Héctor Rondón served up two home runs on Monday in the Cubs' 12-2 win over the Pirates, but Maddon wasn't concerned. The Cubs are trying to get everyone in line for the postseason and wanted Pedro Strop, Rondon and Aroldis Chapman to pitch in that order as a dress rehearsal.
"I was only concerned about the number of pitches thrown," Maddon said. "The big thing there is target practice and health, that's the two things. [Rondon's] slider needs to be sharpened up. The fastball was fine, delivery looked good. I was just concerned about number of pitches thrown."
Chapman apparently wanted more work, which is a good sign.
"The schedule has permitted us to work these guys the way we have," Maddon said.
Fans also may see unique pinch-hitting situations so that the Cubs can give some of the reserves at-bats in key moments. Maddon said he's trying to choreograph it now.
• Last year, the Mets' pitching stifled the Cubs in the National League Championship Series. Does Kris Bryant feel the Cubs are better prepared this postseason?
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"I'm more comfortable with it," he said. "You see the big-name guys on the mound, and you know you faced them before and it's not anything new or crazy. The No. 1 and 2 guys, you just have to battle, have good at-bats, wear them down, and I think this team has done that all year long. Last year, it felt like every one of [the Mets'] pitchers, they had four aces. I don't know if it will be like that this year. I think we're a lot more prepared for it."
Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.