Catcher Geovany Soto has a warm welcome back to look forward to, as he has just been taken off the disabled list and has been cleared to play, we're reliably informed by SBNation. A recent poor performance was revealed as a slight tear in his meniscus, silencing any critics assuming it was simply an issue of him not being on-form.
Hopefully this should mean that Soto gets back on track. Before he was put on the disability list, he was hitting .161/.250/.301 in 93 at-bats, which as anyone from your semi-fan watching MLB in between partypoker games to the most hardcore of Cubs followers can tell you, is not what you'd call a great performance record.
However, it's now clear that his swing may have been off due to that meniscus injury, so now he's back and seemingly fixed, he'll hopefully be able to raise his game to the level it was at two years ago, in which he seemed to be the one person you always wanted to have facing off against a pitcher.
During his absence, three replacements were used by the Cubs – Castillo, Clevenger and Hill. Clevenger clearly outperformed the season Soto was having, with a .290/.310/.406 at 69 at-bats, and .191/.208/.255 in 47 at-bats during his stand-in for Soto. Now that the batter's back, however, things will likely change and it'll be interesting to see whether he can top Clevenger's performance.
The problem for Soto, injury recovery and sorting his performance out aside, is his value as a player, having performed badly then been taken out of commission, making him a less attractive proposition for both the Cubs and any teams looking for new talent in the future. If he can come back and play some great games, then he should show people that his 2010 performance wasn't the peak of his career performance. Time will tell, right, Cubs fans?