The long recovery of the Cubs’ many catchers continues, and keeps throwing us curveballs. When Geovany Soto and Welington Castillo went down with knee injuries within a day of each other last month, Soto’s injury was considered much worse. He was going to have to have a knee scope, and the Cubs weren’t even sure Castillo was going to need time on the DL. Eventually Castillo was DL’d, and we got word that his injury was worse than initially thought. Then we heard that Soto was recovering well, and could be on a rehab assignment as soon as this weekend.
And now another turn. Castillo, and not Soto, will be the one starting a rehab assignment (at AA Tennessee) this weekend. Soto, on the other hand, is still having trouble blocking balls (Castillo is, too, apparently, but must be further along than Soto).
Castillo will start his rehab assignment today, and could be back with the Cubs next week. The Cubs hope Soto will be able to do the rehab assignment thing next week.
I know some of you like to drop the “Soto sucks” bomb when I talk about how important it is for him to return to the Cubs, but I’m still not hearing it. It can only help the Cubs to have as many possibly tradable pieces on the roster come July 31, and, at present, Soto is virtually untradable. The only way he becomes tradable is if he shows he’s healthy and productive, and over a long enough stretch of time. The longer he’s out, the shorter the window for him to show it. Frankly, that window is already smaller than I’d like it to be if I were a team looking to pick up a catcher (who just had minor knee surgery).
Soto has one more year of arbitration left, which, if tendered, could earn him as much as $6 million in 2013. The Cubs, even if they don’t trade Soto, will need time to evaluate Soto and make a decision about whether he’s their guy for 2013 (let alone for the years beyond that).