Soto Eyes Return Date

Geovany Soto is preparing to be a starting catcher for the first time as a Texas Ranger after the departure of A.J. Pierzynski, but right now, he's doing it on the mend and not on the fields in Surprise, Ariz.

Soto underwent a minor arthroscopic procedure on Saturday to remove a small bone in his foot that had recently been giving him problems, and on Wednesday set March 15 as a hopeful return date.

“I should have plenty of time [to get ready for the season],” Soto told ESPN Dallas. “Everything went well. Hopefully, here in a couple of days I’ll start working out in the gym on the bike.”

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Soto, the former NL Rookie of the Year with the Chicago Cubs, is gearing up to be a No. 1 catcher again after serving in a backup capacity in Texas for the past season and a half since being acquired at the trade deadline in 2012.

He hit .245 with nine home runs and 22 RBIs last season in a No. 2 role behind Pierzynski, but did show a tendency to come up big in clutch situations, especially in the power department.

“I spent the whole offseason working out and getting better in every aspect – catching, hitting – and I came out here and spent a week and a half preparing myself,” Soto said. “It’s a minor setback, but starting March 15, I should have plenty of time.”

The Rangers open the regular season on March 31 at their newly named home of Globe Life Park against the Philadelphia Phillies.

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