The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away.
Or in the case of the Chicago Cubs, He just taketh away.
Cubs catcher Geovany Soto might be headed to the disabled list after straining an oblique muscle the other day during batting practice. The team had long awaited the return of third baseman Aramis Ramirez (and also Reed Johnson and reliever Angel Guzman) just in time for Soto and starter Ryan Dempster to go down. Swell.
Oblique injuries, in Soto’s case on his lower left side, can often linger just because of the torque required in that muscle area to swing a bat.
Either way, he appears doubtful for the St. Louis series that opens Friday, leaving the Cubs with Koyie Hill handling the bulk of duties — including a possible doubleheader Sunday — with Jake Fox as the backup.
The club is waiting for the MRI results to makes its plans more concrete, but insiders say seeking outside help via trade is unlikely even if Soto winds up on the DL. CHICAGO SUN-TIMES.
The Cubs have two catchers hitting well at AAA – Chris Robinson and Steven Clevenger – and although neither is going to replace Soto or Hill any time soon, it seems obvious to me that there is no need to go outside of the organization for a ten day stretch.
Fox, whose defensive limitations led to the Cubs converting him to a corner outfield/infield player, said he’s willing and able to handle backup chores. He most recently was behind the plate for two games at Class AAA Iowa this season and anticipates doing some catching in the bullpen Friday to prepare.
Like riding a bike?
”I’m hoping so,” he said. ”I was ready to go out there [Wednesday] if they needed me, and I felt comfortable back there in Iowa. I’ve caught my whole life. That’s the position I know best.”
Hill said he’s ready to catch all weekend, if needed, including the doubleheader. ”Every pitch. Whatever they need me to do,” said Hill, who once caught a set of three doubleheaders during a four-week stretch of catching every day in the minors.
The “Jake Fox sucks at defense” meme will really be put to the test if he’s put behind the plate.
Best case scenario has Soto coming back for one of the doubleheader games on Sunday.