06/02/12 8:12 PM ET
Outfielder Soler impresses Sveum on video
By Carrie Muskat / MLB.com
Theo Epstein, Cubs president of baseball operations, and general manager Jed Hoyer did watch Soler work out in the Dominican Republic earlier this year. Rumors about where the 20-year-old power-hitting outfielder is headed had quieted down until Saturday when FOX Sports reported he was now a free agent. Soler defected from Cuba last year.
"He's pretty strong," Sveum said Saturday. "On video, he looks pretty impressive. I don't know if he's as impressive as that kid the other day."
That "kid" was high school shortstop Carlos Correa, projected as a first-round pick in Monday's First-Year Player Draft. Sveum threw batting practice to Correa during a workout at Wrigley Field on Wednesday.
Epstein, Hoyer and Jason McLeod, the Cubs' scouting and player development director, have asked Sveum to look at video of some of the top Draft prospects. It's all part of due diligence.
"That's the way Theo does things," Sveum said. "When he makes a decision, he's done every piece of information you can get to make sure that decision is right."
Cubs put DeJesus third in batting order
SAN FRANCISCO -- David DeJesus, primarily the Cubs' leadoff man this season, was moved into the No. 3 spot in the Cubs lineup Saturday as manager Dale Sveum looked for some way to kick-start the offense.
DeJesus has hit third in 126 games in his career and has a .292 batting average there. He did so in 23 games last year with the Royals, batting .193 (17-for-88).
"Dale wants me to stay with the same plan, nothing new, and go out there and have good at-bats," DeJesus said. "That's how I'm going to take it. I'm not going to be this power guy all of a sudden. I'm just going to get my at-bats today and see what happens."
The outfielder's steady approach convinced Sveum to make the move.
"[DeJesus] said, 'I always hit the same. I've hit there before, and I've hit all over the place,'" Sveum said. "That's one reason I'm comfortable doing that is that he just has a [good] at-bat all the time, no matter where he hits in the lineup."
DeJesus has been one of the Cubs' most consistent hitters in recent weeks and was 11-for-33 in his last 10 games entering Saturday. He may not provide much pop but he can deliver doubles and triples. Joe Mather was 6-for-27 (.222) so far in the No. 3 spot.
Sveum also made the switch because Ian Stewart was not available because of a sore left wrist, which flared up again. The third baseman was available to pinch-hit Saturday and most likely would not start again until Monday.
Sveum said he came up with Saturday's lineup "after hours and hours of debating." The Cubs want Tony Campana at the top to take advantage of his speed, so he led off against the Giants.
"The way our lineup is, it's not going to be an everyday thing," Sveum said of having DeJesus hit third. "When Stewart comes back, we might change some things around a little bit."
DeJesus entered the game with one home run this season. He doubled his total by clubbing a solo shot in the fourth inning, the possibility of which he downplayed before the game.
"If it happens, yes, I'll take it," DeJesus said, laughing. "I'm not going to shy away from that. But that's not my game."
Castro expected to be smarter on basepaths
SAN FRANCISCO -- Starlin Castro still has the green light to steal despite his baserunning gaffe Friday.
Castro was easily thrown out in the third when he tried to run with one out, a 2-0 count to No. 3 hitter Joe Mather and the Cubs trailing, 2-0. The shortstop said after Friday's game he thought Mather had fouled the ball off, which is why he slowed up going into second and didn't slide.
"I wasn't too happy about that one for many reasons," said Cubs manager Dale Sveum, who spoke to Castro in the dugout after the incident happened.
"It was a complete mistake to be running in the first place and then not to know what the guy did and thinking he fouled it off and didn't know he swung when you're two runs down -- what if he hit a line drive to the outfielder and you got doubled up?" Sveum said. "That's not acceptable. He knew that. Sometimes you have these brain [cramps] or whatever you want to call them.
"That's a time and a place in the game when your third hitter is up and you've got a 2-0 count and you're down by two runs, if you are running, you better be 100 percent sure you're going to be safe and you better know the ball is going to be hit," Sveum said. "He failed on all of the above."
But Castro, who is second on the Cubs with 15 stolen bases, still is free to run.
"He is a good basestealer," Sveum said.
Hill has connection to Santana's no-hitter
SAN FRANCISCO -- When Johan Santana threw the Mets' first no-hitter Friday, catcher Josh Thole was using Koyie Hill's glove.
Here's the story: Hill gave Cubs bullpen catcher Andy Lane one of his All-Star model gloves last year. Lane and Thole worked out together this offseason, and Thole liked "The Koyie" so much, he switched with Lane.
Lane exchanged text messages with Thole and found out Saturday it was Hill's glove. Hill said he thought he recognized it watching highlights of Santana's game.
"Your stuff looks familiar to you," Hill said.
Hill does have a no-hitter to his credit, catching lefty Lindsay Gulin's no-no at Triple-A in 2004.
Ryan Dempster was not with the Cubs this weekend but was in Chicago, preparing for his next start Tuesday. Sveum said everything was fine, and the right-hander was home to take care of "some personal stuff."
Dempster, winless in his last 18 starts since Aug. 11, was to throw a bullpen in Chicago in preparation for his game in the series opener against the Brewers.
The Cubs wore throwback uniforms Saturday from the 1912 season. They did so twice last year. On May 4, they wore uniforms from 1944 while the Dodgers wore a model from the 1940s, and on May 21, the Cubs wore 1918 outfits against the Red Sox. The Cubs also wore throwback uniforms June 12, 2008, against the Braves when they had 1948 replica uniforms to celebrate WGN's 60th anniversary of televising Cubs baseball.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter@CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.