Wednesday's game in Cincinnati will give Cubs fans their first long look at two faces they hope will be a big part of their future as Jorge Soler will join the lineup and Jacob Turner will take the mound.
Soler, a 22-year-old from Cuba, has been on the radar of Cubs fans since he was signed to a nine-year, $30 million contract in 2012. He'll join Javier Baez as the second member of the team's "core four" prospects in the Major Leagues.
The outfielder is the Cubs' No. 5 prospect, according to MLB.com, and posted a .340/.432/.700 line with 15 home runs and 57 RBIs this season between the Cubs' Rookie league (rehab games), Double-A and Triple-A affiliates.
"We're starting to see that light at the end of the tunnel," said Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo after Soler's Monday callup. "There's always an expectation to win, but with these guys coming up, they're going to be patient and let them develop and get their at-bats in, but at the same time, we want to win, too."
Turner is a much newer part of Chicago's plans, having just been acquired in a trade with the Marlins on Aug. 8. He's made two relief appearances since the trade, but this will mark his first Cubs appearance as a starter, the role he filled most of the time for Miami.
"He's come in, relieved for us, I think he's done well," said Cubs manager Rick Renteria. "I know he sees himself as a starter, which I think everybody does. I think we just want to see him pitch. We just want to see how he does. We want to encourage him, we're trying to stay as positive as possible."
In two career starts against the Reds, Turner is 1-1 with a 4.09 ERA, including a start earlier this month when he was hit hard for five runs on nine hits over four innings.
The Reds will counter with Mat Latos, who's just returning from the birth of his first child, a son, on Monday. Latos is 6-2 in 10 career starts against the Cubs, accumulating a 2.66 ERA over 64 1/3 innings.
He's coming off a six-inning outing against Atlanta in which he limited the damage to one run despite giving up nine hits.
Cubs: Russell among prospects slated for Arizona Fall League
Shortstop Addison Russell, ranked No. 3 on MLB.com's list of the Cubs' Top 20 prospects and No. 6 on MLB.com's Top 100 Prospects list, will play for the Mesa Solar Sox in the Arizona Fall League.
The Cubs acquired the shortstop on July 4 from the Athletics in a deal involving right-handers Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel. Russell is batting .297 in 62 games this season, and since joining Double-A Tennessee, he has hit .297 with 12 home runs and 10 doubles in 44 games.
A strong right-handed hitter, the 20-year-old Russell batted .282 in 21 games for the Solar Sox last year, and he was teammates with Cubs prospects Kris Bryant, Albert Almora, Soler, Wes Darvill, Dallas Beeler, Matt Loosen, Armando Rivero and Lendy Castillo. This year, Castillo will be reunited with some of his teammates from the A's Minor League system who will also be with Mesa.
Reds: Mesoraco gets well-timed night off
Catcher Devin Mesoraco got his usual night off on Tuesday with Brayan Pena catching for starter Johnny Cueto. The day off might be a good time for Mesoraco, who is 0-for-11 on the homestand and 1-for-his-last-32. It's dropped his average from .301 to .273.
"It's not so much the day off, it's really getting back to being himself at the plate," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "He's doing a nice job behind the plate blocking. I don't know if anybody is taking a lot of notice, but he's doing a terrific job behind the plate blocking and throwing. He's much improved, as is Brayan Pena, in large part to the work done with [catching coach] Mike Stefanski. I'm really happy with that.
"However, he has struggled with the bat here. A little bit more time addressing that with [hitting coach Don Long] and [assistant hitting coach Lee Tinsley] probably is helpful."
• The Reds are 10-1-1 in 12 series against divisional rivals Chicago, Milwaukee and Pittsburgh.
• Soler will be the eighth player to make his Major League debut for the Cubs this season.
Caitlin Swieca is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.