Geovany Soto talks with Yu Darvish in between pitches.
Barring anything unexpected, Geovany Soto will take over No. 1 catcher duties for the Texas Rangers this season after serving a year and a half as the Rangers backup behind the plate behind Mike Napoli and A.J. Pierzynski the past two seasons, respectively.
Last season, it became apparent that Rangers ace Yu Darvish preferred throwing to Soto over Pierzynski, both in the mental aspect and with the results themselves. Darvish had a couple of well publicized disagreements in mound conferences with Pierzynski and just put up better numbers with Soto behind the plate.
On Monday, Rangers manager Ron Washington made clear the fact that the Rangers will plan to use Soto behind the plate whenever their ace is on the mound.
“It seems like whatever Soto decides he wants to do, Darvish is on the same page,” Washington told reporters in Surprise, Ariz. “They’ve got a relationship.”
According to The Dallas Morning News' Gerry Fraley, Darvish has a 2.68 ERA with a .191 opponents batting average in 154 2/3 career innings with Soto. He has a 3.76 ERA with a .216 opponents batting average with all other catchers. That's a pretty big disparity. Soto, of course, has been battling a bum foot and should be back in action by next week after a minor surgical procedure.