Chicago Cubs highly prized prospect Jorge Soler was suspended five games Thursday for wielding a bat at the opposing dugout in a Class A baseball game.
Soler, a Cuban who signed a nine-year, $30 million contract with the Cubs during the offseason, was suspended by the Florida State League for his actions during Wednesday night's game between Cubs affiliate Daytona and Clearwater.
Soler exchanged words with Clearwater's Edgar Alonso after a play at second base, causing both dugouts to empty. After teams returned to their benches, Soler ran out of the Daytona toward the Clearwater dugout with a bat in hand.
"Jorge is tremendously remorseful about what happened. He understands what he did was wrong. He didn't sleep all night, up all night thinking about it. Very apologetic. He understands this can't happen again," said Cubs president Theo Epstein on Thursday. "According to Jorge, there was some back-and-forth with a player on the other team throughout most of the game. And then eventually something was said about Jorge's family, and that's when he lost his cool.
"But he understands, and we agree, that is not an excuse for what happened. He has to find a way to better manage his emotions on the field."
Epstein said the Cubs "condemn" Soler's actions, but they support him.
"It's our responsibility to work with him, to make sure he has a better way to channel his emotions on the field and make sure something like this doesn't happen again," Epstein said. "That's our responsibility. It's his responsibility to fully embrace that."