Geovany Soto is back from his stint with Team Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic. Soto was happy to be back with his Cubs team in Mesa, and so was Manager Lou Pinella who inserted him back in the Cubs lineup for their game against the San Diego Padres on Friday. In fact, Pinella plans on playing him every other day for the last 2 weeks of the spring – “It’s nice to have him back because, first of all, he wasn’t catching all that much with the Puerto Rico team. He needs at-bats. We’ll have four or five different pitchers on our staff, and he needs to get familiar with them.”
Soto had this to say about his first taste of the World Baseball Classic: “It was a great experience to go home and play in front of the home crowd. It was pretty special to be on the same field with all those guys.” Soto’s Team Venezuela included Carlos Beltran, Bernie Williams, Carlos Delgado, Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez and Yadier Molina.
It’s great to have the Cubs Rookie of the Year Catcher back for the rest of spring training. It’s a catch-22 that Soto did not play that much in the WBC. At least it reduced the risk of him getting injured, but it put him a step behind getting used to some of the new pitchers on the Cubs staff like Kevin Gregg, Aaron Heilman, Luis Vizcaino and Mike Stanton. Soto should be able to make up for the lost time quickly and we’ll monitor his progress over the next week or so.