Tag:Geovany Soto
Posted on: May 11, 2011 4:11 pm
Edited on: May 11, 2011 4:12 pm
 

Cubs' Soto placed on DL with groin injury

By Matt Snyder

Cubs catcher Geovany Soto has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with the groin injury he suffered Tuesday night against the Cardinals. Minor-league catcher Welington Castillo has been recalled as a corresponding move before Wednesday night's game against the Cardinals. Castillo will wear No. 53 and is available for the game.

Losing Soto is a big blow for the Cubs' struggling offense. He's hitting just .226 with three home runs, eight doubles and 12 RBI, but he has power potential. To illustrate the point, the Cubs are ranked highly in the NL in batting average and on-base percentage, yet rank near the bottom in runs scored and slugging percentage. As I tweeted earlier today, Carlos Zambrano has a better slugging percentage than every hitter aside from Alfonso Soriano and Reed Johnson. Soto is tied for second on the team in home runs -- again, with three.

Cubs' backup catcher Koyie Hill certainly isn't going to provide any punch. He has seven career home runs and a .302 slugging percentage in 715 career at-bats. This season, he's hitting .125 with a .576 OPS.

So maybe Castillo gets an extended look with Soto shelved? The 24-year-old hit .255 with 13 home runs, 59 RBI and 17 doubles in 69 Triple-A games last season. This season, he's hitting .245 with two homers and a .723 OPS in 14 Triple-A games. He did get 21 plate appearances last season for the Cubs -- his first appearances in the majors -- and hit .300 with a home run, four doubles and five RBI.

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Posted on: January 14, 2011 7:18 pm
Edited on: January 14, 2011 7:18 pm
 

Cubs, Soto agree

Geovany Soto
The Cubs and Geovany Soto have avoided arbitration with a one-year, $3 million deal, a source tells Gordon Wittenmeyer of the Chicago Sun-Times.

It's a nice raise for the Cubs' No. 1 catcher, who made $575,000 last season, but it also looks like a decent deal for the Cubs. Although his season ended prematurely when he had arthroscopic shoulder surgery in September, he had an outstanding year, putting up a .280/.393/.497 line in 105 games for an OPS+ of 131. That could have put Soto, who turns 28 next week, in line for a big payday if the case had gotten to an arbitrator.

After also avoiding arbitration with backup Koyie Hill this week, the Cubs now have the position sewn up for $3.85 million -- not much more than the major-league average for one player. That's not bad considering the Cubs had the fourth-highest OPS in the National League at the position last season.

-- David Andriesen

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Category: MLB
Posted on: October 15, 2010 6:03 pm
 

R.I.P. Cubs: More meltdowns, more problems

RIP As the sports world waits for the crowning of a champion, 22 other teams are busy preparing for spring training. What went wrong for these teams, and what does 2011 hold? MLB Facts and Rumors here at CBS Sports will be answering those questions through all of October. The lovable losers everyone knows as the Chicago Cubs are up next.

In the last season of Lou Pineilla's managerial career, the Cubs stumbled out of the gate and never got on track although the team responded under the leadership of interim manager Mike Quade.

WHAT WENT WRONG

Give the Cubs credit: they got the losing out of the way in the first half so fans weren't crushed by a late-season swoon.

Carlos Zambrano Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez, the two big boppers who were expected to anchor the order, must have thought they were retired. After all, when your 3-4 combo combines for an OPS under .700, you know things went wrong. Lee finished at .233/.329/.366 in 371 plate appearances while Ramirez one-upped him (or is it one-downed?) with a .207/.268/.380 mark in 261 PA.

That wasn't even the story that got national attention. What did was Carlos Zambrano's season from hell. He began the year as Cubs ace, found himself in the bullpen before the end of April, then was moved back only to have a meltdown while pitching against the White Sox on July 25. Big Z (pictured, left) and Lee had to be separated in the dugout and the right-hander was suspended. He returned days later to the bullpen before moving back to the rotation where he ended the year on a roll with a 1.41 ERA in 11 starts. The strong finish wasn't enough to wipe the puckered lips from Cubbie fans -- especially with Z due just under $36 million the next two seasons.

And to cap it all off, rookie sensation Tyler Colvin had his lung impaled by a shard of a broken bat. Nice.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

If Zambrano's turnaround didn't do it, then Aramis Ramirez' own turnaround helped. As soon as Ramirez got a three-day respite in mid-July, he came back strong, cranking 15 homers the rest of the way for a .276/.321/.526 line. While the second half saw veterans such as Lee and Ted Lilly traded, the play of new blood plus a 24-13 finish under Quade turned frowns into half-smiles, dreaming of what could be in 2011. (Stop it, Cubs fans! Stop it right now. These are the Cubs.)

One thing Chicago did have going for them was a dominant closer and setup man. Carlos Marmol struck out a wicked 138 batters in just 77 2/3 innings, making his 52 walks irrelevant as he posted a 2.55 ERA and nailed down 38 saves. He was joined by converted starter Sean Marshall, and the lefty appeared in 80 games en route to a 2.65 ERA.

Former Rookie of the Year catcher Geovany Soto shook off a dismal 2009 to provide the Cubbies with a .280/.393/.497 line in 387 PA with 17 home runs. That's incredibly rare production out of catcher, but he kept inexplicably losing playing time to Koyie Hill. And one wonders why the Cubs lost almost 90 games.
 
HELP ON THE WAY

The Cubs introduced plenty of youngsters to the team, none more than on pitching where Casey Coleman, Thomas Diamond, James Russell and Andrew Cashner saw extensive playing time. Cashner has a spot locked up in the bullpen and Coleman has a good shot of opening the year in the rotation.

Tyler Colvin and Starlin Castro also made impressive debuts as rookies, but unfortunately for Chicago, there is not much behind these names that will be ready for 2011. However, there's a host of candidates that could see major-league time in 2011 in advance of major contributions in 2012. Those include outfielder Brett Jackson, third baseman Josh Vitters, infielder Ryan Flaherty, starter Chris Carpenter and starter Jay Jackson, who could step in the rotation in case of injury.

EXPECTATIONS FOR 2011

The Cubs have enough horses that contention isn't impossible, but too much has to break right. So while the Cubs will talk up a good PR game, privately they'll take a third-place finish behind the Cardinals and Reds in some form. All that may require is a .500 finish, although Chicago should expect to win a few more than 81.

SUGGESTIONS FOR 2011

Tyler Colvin The Cubs won't have much money to play with as quite a few of their valued players are in arbitration. The good news is that payroll drops precipitously after 2011 and off a cliff after 2012. Unfortunately, until then, the Cubs are essentially locked into near every position, but there's still room to improve. They will have an open first base spot (unless Tyler Colvin moves to first) and second base (unless the team keeps Blake DeWitt as a starter). The bullpen could also use some reinforcements.

There isn't much in the way of first base prospects, so the Cubs might be better served to see what Colvin (pictured, right) can do at first base. That would leave Kosuke Fukudome manning right, but since the Japanese import can't hit lefties, Jeff Francouer could come in and serve as a platoon partner and serve as fourth outfielder.

At this point in DeWitt's career, he is essentially a backup so the Cubs have to go and get another player. Inking Bill Hall could pay major dividends if his comeback in Boston was for real and should be available for short years and reasonable dollars. The Cubs can then stack the bullpen with an arrangement of solid relievers that don't break the bank and use the savings for two things: signing bonuses in the draft and getting rid of players with no future in town. That includes Ramirez and Fukudome as well as the all-but-untradeable Alfonso Soriano.

2011 PREDICTION

The Cubs will have some growing pains in 2011 as the team shakes free of the old regime and begins a new one in town with plenty of cash to sign upcoming free agents. Not only are the Cubs in too transitional of a stage to play heavily in the free-agent market this offseason, the market is poor as well. Next season will have some strong free agents that the Cubs could jump at. Look for Chicago to finish around 85 losses.

Check out the rest of the R.I.P. reports here .

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: September 19, 2010 12:53 pm
 

Cubs' Soto to have season-ending surgery

Geovany Soto Cubs catcher Geovany Soto will have arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder on Monday, ending his 2010 season.

The former Rookie of the Year has had a solid bounce-back season, hitting .280/.393/.497 with 17 home runs and 53 RBI.

Soto spent time on the disabled list in August with shoulder pain, but returned and played through the pain. The surgery will "clean up" his acromioclavicular joint and he should be ready for the start of spring training.

"Two bones in the AC joint were smashed together, it was like bone-on-bone grinding," Soto told the Chicago Tribune . "I can rehab it all I want, but it's just bone-on-bone, and it's going to be there and it's prone to be there later on."

Koyie Hill will serve as the Cubs' primary catcher for the rest of the season, backed up by Wellington Castillo.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: August 23, 2010 6:25 pm
Edited on: August 23, 2010 6:58 pm
 

Soriano dropped to seventh in lineup

Alfonso Soriano Interim manager Mike Quade wasted no time in putting his stamp on the Cubs, dropping Alfonso Soriano to the No. 7 spot in the batting order, according to ChicagoBreakingSports.com.

Soriano has batted sixth 88 times on the year, hitting .272/.324/.522 in 350 plate appearances. He also has 12 games at fifth and three games at fourth. He batted in the pitcher's spot 11 times and made one appearance later in the game at the seven-slot as well.

In the season, Soriano is hitting .260/.319/.499 with 19 home runs and 31 doubles in 424 PA. It's not clear why Soriano was dropped, as he has the necessary power to produce out of the sixth and seventh slots. Sure, he doesn't have the on-base percentage, but neither does Tyler Colvin, the new occupant of the sixth spot and is at .251/.310/.505 in 324 PA.

Quade also has second baseman Blake DeWitt leading off and Geovany Soto in the eight spot.

Soto being so low is nonsensical. Yes, he is making his return from the disabled list (shoulder), but is one of the team's best hitters -- if not the best hitter -- at .288/.401/.519 in 317 PA. An injury doesn't automatically mean one should bat last (or in the NL, eighth).

The DeWitt add to the leadoff spot is intriguing. With a .360 OBP on the year, it's a solid move. DeWitt has the fourth-highest OBP on the team behind Soto, Kosuke Fukudome and Marlon Byrd. Fukudome does not play regularly and Byrd is batting third. In addition, DeWitt's OBP with Chicago is .392 over 74 plate appearances, which vaults him past Fukudome.

Here is the full lineup:

DeWitt 2B
Castro SS
Byrd CF
Ramirez 3B
Nady 1B
Colvin RF
Soriano LF
Soto C
Coleman P

UPDATE : Quade said he doesn't particularly care whether Soriano hits sixth or seventh, but Colvin was inserted to break up the run of righties that Starlin Castro kicked off and ran through Xavier Nady in this specific lineup. "I wanted to break all that mess up with Colvin in there and see if that doesn't help a little bit," he said .

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .

Posted on: August 10, 2010 11:27 am
Edited on: August 10, 2010 12:25 pm
 

Soto hits DL

Geovany Soto Geovany Soto is on the way to the disabled list for the Cubs, briefly interrupting what has been one of the best seasons a catcher could ever put together.

Soto won Rookie of the Year in 2008 as a 25-year-old, hitting .285/.364/.504 in 494 plate appearances and seemed to have given the Cubs a catcher of the future. However, Soto was revealed to have tested positive for marijuana at the World Baseball Classic. He then stumbled to a .218/.321/.381 line in 389 trips to the plate.

Soto's re-established his value in 2010 although he's had to fend off Koyie Hill for playing time. He's up to .288/.401/.519 in 264 PA, cracking 15 dingers. His .920 OPS is good for tops in the bigs among catchers with at least 250 plate appearances. Joe Mauer ranks second with a .868 mark.

Hill figures to get the bulk of the playing time behind the dish to replace Soto. The Cubs also called up 23-year-old Weilington Castillo, who was hitting .251/.317/.507 in Triple-A with 13 home runs in 260 PA.

-- Evan Brunell

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Category: MLB
 
 
 
 
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