Geovany Soto is set to rejoin the Cubs for Friday’s game against the Rockies in Colorado. Soto has been on the disabled list since July 7th with a mild strain of his left oblique muscle. Soto will play in 3 minor league games at Double-A Tennessee this week and then head out to Denver.
Manager Lou Pinella is excited to have Soto back. Koyie Hill has started 25 straight games behind the plate for the Cubs (including starting both ends of a day-night double-header against the St. Louis Cardinals on July 12th at Wrigley Field). During that stretch, Hill caught 207 innings – almost 27 innings more than the next catcher – Russell Martin with 181 2/3 innings. Jake Fox did catch a few innings late in games to give Hill a break here and there. Pinella had this to say: “Wednesday wouldn’t be soon enough for me… It gives us a chance to rest Hill on Thursday, and he’ll have from Tuesday to Friday off, and then maybe we can alternate them so both can catch… He’s done a nice job. Give him credit.”
While it will be great to have Soto back, Hill has done a great job. Since the All-Star Break, the Cubs are 14-5, and their nice run catapulted the Cubs back into a 1st place tie with the Cardinals in the NL Central race. While Hill’s offense has been average at best, Hill has provided much needed consistency for the pitching staff, especially with Ryan Dempster and Ted Lilly each spending time on the DL during that stretch. Randy Wells has thrived with Hill behind the plate and even recently traded Kevin Hart picked up 3 wins as a starter in July. Kudos to Hill and let’s hope the winning ways keep coming on the north side of Chicago.