FRIDAY: Royals outfielder Jorge Soler has been diagnosed with a fracture of the first metatarsal of his left foot, Rustin Dodd of The Athletic is among those to report on Twitter. He evidently suffered the injury while running after putting a ball in play tonight, having previously fouled a ball off the same area recently.
The outlook on Soler isn’t clear just yet, of course, but this injury seems all but certain to cost him a decent bit of action. As Dodd notes, Jayson Werth missed nearly three months last year with a similar injury, though that’s not to say such an extended absence will be required in this case.
It’s unfortunate timing for the 26-year-old Soler, who was in the midst of a strong season after a brutal 2017 campaign. Through 254 plate appearances entering play today, he carried a .268/.358/.473 slash with nine home runs.
Needless to say, the Royals won’t be competitive this year, so it’s easy enough to weather the loss in that regard. And Soler wasn’t likely to feature as a trade candidate given his not-so-distant struggles and lengthy control rights.
Still, it’s rough news for a team that’s looking to build a new core and a player who finally seemed to be reestablishing himself. And there are financial implications as well. As we explained recently, Soler may have had cause to consider opting into arbitration at season’s end, but it now seems much more likely that he will stick with the guarantee provided in the contract he signed with the Cubs after he departed his home nation of Cuba.