He might be missing in action to fans, but Geovany Soto has had a significant impact on the White Sox rookie catchers. Potentially out for the season since May with an elbow injury, Soto has bucked a normal trend for most injured players with his constant presence at White Sox home games. He’s still uncertain, but Soto holds out hope he could play again during the 2017 season. Even if he doesn’t return, Soto has offered the young White Sox catchers plenty of value in an area they lack — experience. “Everything,” catcher Omar Narvaez said. “The game plan. Throwing to second base. How to anticipate who’s going to run and the count they run in. How to support the pitcher, what moment to go to the mound. All that stuff. What moment we can throw the fastball in, things like that. “Sometimes there are things I might not know, or he reinforces what I know. “I can learn from it.” Headed into this season, Narvaez and Kevan Smith had combined to play 41 major league games. While their collective inexperience wasn’t as much of an issue out of spring camp, it became one when Soto first hit the disabled list with a sore elbow in mid-April. Suddenly, the White Sox were relying upon two catchers with little knowledge of hitters around the league. Soto returned 11 days later, but his stay was short-lived. He appeared in eight games before his elbow acted up again. Soto decided to have surgery that would keep him out a minimum of three months. But he’s stuck around, which has been huge for Narvaez and Smith. Soto said he made that choice because he remembers how valuable it was for him to be able to rely upon veteran catcher Henry Blanco early in his own career. “I care about my guys, my catchers, my friends,” Soto said. “Henry Blanco took me under his wing, and I loved how that felt. He made me feel like I belonged from early in terms of all the struggles I went through with the defensive part of the game, calling the game, relationship with your pitchers, how to deal with the whole staff. I thought that really helped me as a major leaguer, and that’s all I’m trying to do.” Whereas most injured players are around occasionally, Soto arrives at Guaranteed Rate Field early and stays late. He doesn’t travel with the team — injured players mostly only do unless they’re on the verge of returning. But Soto has made himself readily available while he rehabs at home.
How Geovany Soto has provided the White Sox with value while on the disabled list
CSN Chicago | Sep 4