The Chicago Cubs have acquired left handed reliever Giovanni Soto for cash considerations, from the Cleveland Indians.
If that name rings a bell, you aren’t alone, but the Cubs former Rookie of the Year award winning catcher Geovany Soto is not this man.
Instead, (the pitching) Soto, has spent the last seven seasons working his way up the minor league ladder of the Tigers and Indians organizations, making his major league debut last season for Cleveland.
Throughout his minor league career, Soto, 24, has kept a nice 3.12 ERA (3.55 FIP), with a 22.5% strike out rate and a 9.5% walk rate. And, although he is currently a reliever, Soto was a starter until he reached AA in 2012. At that point, he made the switch to the bullpen, before finally reaching the majors in 2015 (perhaps he can act as yet another multi-inning/super utility pitcher for the Cubs). He doesn’t throw with a ton of velocity (89-90 MPH on his fastball), but he does mix in quite a lot of pitches and has found success with his stuff and pitch mix, in the past.
For example, with AAA Columbus last season, Soto kept an excellent 2.68 ERA over 46 outings (53.2 IP). He limited batters to a .187 average, while striking out 23.3% of hitters faced. Additionally, he let up just one home run over that stretch, while getting a little wild, walking 13.2% of his batters.
Although Soto did make it to Cleveland, last season, Chicago is not where he’ll start out his career with the Cubs. Instead, given the already full bullpen and roster, Soto will head to AAA Iowa and await that elusive call to the majors. As depth, he’s quite nice to have (especially considering his age).
And, if your keeping count, the addition of Soto puts the Cubs 40-man roster at 41. So, to make room, the Cubs officially placed outfielder/catcher Kyle Schwarber on the 60 day disabled list, becuase (if you somehow missed it) he tore his ACL and LCL, severely sprained his ankle and will be out for the season.
We’ll have more on Soto in the future, but for now just know that the Cubs picked up some additional bullpen depth to stash away at AAA Iowa. And – as we’ve learned the hard way, already this season – depth is a good thing to have.