Cubs Benched Soler for Lack of Hustle, McLeod Says

One of Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon’s favorite sayings is “Respect 90,” but on Sunday it was revealed that one player didn’t always live up to the skipper’s expectations last season.

That player was outfielder Jorge Soler, who was traded to the Kansas City Royals in exchange for pitcher Wade Davis earlier this offseason. Soler’s lack of hustle was cited by Jason McLeod, the Cubs’ Senior VP of Player Development and Amateur Scouting, and the comments came during a panel on the final day of Cubs Convention.

“There are a few times throughout the year where a player will get pulled out of the game,” McLeod said. “This is not trying to harp on ‘Georgie’ at all, but he got yanked a couple of times last year for not hustling out to the outfield, for not running down the line.”

Maddon’s “Respect 90” philosophy was debuted when he got to the team before the 2015 season, and the mantra has a simple meaning: hustle out of the batter’s box and down to first base. It’s one of the manager’s few hard and fast rules, and apparently Soler occasionally broke that rule during his time in Chicago.

Even though Maddon publicly defended Soler on several occasions about hustle plays, McLeod used the slugger’s example to show that the organization as a whole takes the “Respect 90” catchphrase seriously.

“It’s constant in the player development plan,” he said. “Every single person in whatever realm of life that you’re in, whatever occupation you’re in, you can control your effort and you can give your best effort and that’s what it’s all about.”

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