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Although it’s great to get Steve Clevenger back from his oblique strain/rib cartilage break, the Chicago Cubs still have troubles behind the plate thanks to a myriad of injuries.

Specifically, the Cubs are still waiting on starter Geovany Soto, and other back-up Welington Castillo to get healthy. Soto, who underwent a knee scope on May 18, says he’s “close” to returning, and described his injury as a two-or-three-week thing, rather than a multiple month thing. That’s awfully optimistic of him, but no one is expecting him back for another week at the very least. The Cubs are undoubtedly hoping Soto returns fully healthy and productive, which could give them a chance to trade him at the deadline. Even if Soto comes back next week, he’ll have only about seven weeks of game action to prove that he’s healthy and swinging the bat well. It might not be enough time.

As for Castillo, his strained MCL (knee) was originally described as a four or five day injury back on May 19, but then he was quietly put on the 15-day disabled list. From there, we haven’t heard much, until Dale Sveum revealed that Castillo is still having trouble squatting, and isn’t expected back for a couple weeks yet. Ouch. It’s a real bummer for Castillo, who looked like he was just starting to break out with the bat, and was primed to get plenty of playing time with both Soto and Clevenger out at the time.

  • Poopypants McGee

    It must be tough fo Castillo to poop.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Only you may make that comment.

      • Caleb

        Good point.

    • RoughRiider

      Only in the woods.

    • Cedlandrum

      So what you are saying is that Castillo can call the old Duece?

  • MoneyBoy

    Brett/Luke

    Soto turns 30 in Jan 13 and will be 31 when he hits FA.  If in fact he’s not back in time for clubs to gauge how healthy and/or effective to be trade bait … then what?

    Fairly priced this year at $4.3 mm, though that was a 43% increase.  Another increase like that takes him over $6 mm.  I’m not certain he’s worth that sort of coin.

    I’m strongly undecided.  Any thoughts??

  • @cubsfantroy

    Don’t tender Soto a contract after the season if they can’t trade him. That is what they need to do. At 30, a catcher who can’t hit decent or call a great game isn’t that useful. Unless your name is Koyie Hill. As long as Clevenger comes back strong and Castillo does fine when he comes back as well.

    • Joe

      Good point on Soto. It’s gonna come down to the “what have you done for me lately” thing. Sorry to say, for Soto, it’s not looking good.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      I think that would be unwise.  Soto’s power numbers and walk numbers have remained essentially unchanged (as have his K numbers).  These are always going to be high in all three cases.  What fluctuates wildly for Soto is the frequency of his batted balls that are singles, which is far and away the biggest “luck” aspect of hitting.  (This is almost entirely why BABiP fluctuates so much: extra base hit frequencies show much less variation from year-to-year or even month to month than do singles rates.)  Singles are nice, but a catcher who can draw walks and hit doubles & HR is worth an otherwise low BABiP.

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