Geovany Soto: Man Among Boys
Image courtesy of MyCubsToday.com.
We wouldn't think it based on how Sweat Lou has been playing him, but Geovany Soto is quietly having a monstrous season. Of all MLB catchers with at least 150 PAs, or -- in other words -- among all other starting catchers, Geovany is second in wOBA with .386 and first in OBP with .407. In fact, the only qualifying catcher* above him is Miguel Olivio, who has a laughably and unsustainably high .400 BABIP. In fact, for good measure, let's laugh at it right now. Hahahaha!
*Qualifying according to my previously noted standard of 150 PAs.
Of course, this confirms my earlier portents. This off season, far too many Cubs fans bemoaned Soto's "collapse" in 2009, but the wise (i.e. me and mb21 at Another Cubs Blog) knew that Soto had fallen victim to the BABIP monster (i.e. bad luck). In other words, Soto got unlucky last season, the fans got angry, so he lost some weight -- got even better -- and is presently Joe Mauer-ing. Currently, Geovany Soto trails only Marlon Byrd and Tyler Colvin for the team lead in wOBA. Oh yeah, and he's a catcher -- the most pivotal defender on the field.
This bring me to the most pressing of my points: Geovany Soto cannot become friends with the pine. Dearest Lou Piniella cannot, must not, do what he is seemingly doing lately: sitting Soto because his batting average is .266. Yuck. Seriously, yuck.
There is only one good reason to sit Soto: injuries. For catchers, injuries are common, no doubt. But unless Soto is tired or hurt, he should be hitting. (Moreover, he shouldn't be hitting in front of pitchers, either, but that's a study for another day...)