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Geovany Soto, 2014 Texas Rangers
When Jason Frasor was traded to the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday afternoon, the Texas Rangers had an open roster spot.
And despite the fact they'll need a bullpen reinforcement sooner rather than later, the Rangers have decided to fill Frasor's roster spot with Geovany Soto, who has missed the entire season after undergoing knee surgery in spring training.
Soto, who entered spring training projected as the starting catcher, saw his big chance erode when he tore cartilage in his right knee in a Cactus League game. Since then, he's watched career minor leaguers Robinson Chirinos and Chris Gimenez step up and fill in unexpectedly well behind the plate with Chirinos being one of the season's few pleasant surprises.
Soto is far from being the clear-cut No. 1 catcher now, but he will be back on the big-league roster on Friday when the Rangers open the season's second half in Toronto fresh off an arrest for marijuana possession last week.
Jon Daniels told reporters Soto and Chirinos will share catching duties, with Soto likely resuming his role from 2013 as Yu Darvish's personal catcher. Gimenez will be used as a bench bat and might see some occasional time at first base.
With all that said, you'd have to think Chirinos has earned the majority of the playing time, especially with his arm as he's suddenly become one of the best catchers in baseball at throwing out would-be base-stealers. On the season, he's thrown out 23 of 51 base-stealers, good for a fantastic 45 percent clip. He also has nine home runs this year, good for second on the team.