Geovany Soto has been sidelined all season following surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee in March, but he’s finally getting closer to joining the Rangers.
Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that Soto is scheduled to begin a minor league rehab assignment Friday with Triple-A Round Rock. If all goes according to plan, he’ll be activated when the Rangers begin the second half on July 18.
The Rangers have a .236/.278/.384 batting line from the catcher position this season. They have relied on a combination of Robinson Chirinos and Chris Gimenez behind the plate since J.P. Arencibia was outrighted to Triple-A Round Rock last month.
Giants closer Hunter Strickland had an ugly top of the ninth inning Monday night against the Marlins. He allowed three runs, serving up a walk, a double, another walk, and two singles. The Marlins overcome a 4-2 deficit and went on to win 5-4.
Unhappy with his performance, Strickland punched a door and fractured his pitching hand. He will undergo surgery and will miss six to eight weeks, Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area reports.
That’s a huge loss for the Giants, as Strickland has been terrific, Monday’s start notwithstanding. He carries a 2.84 ERA with 13 saves and a 29/13 K/BB ratio in 31 2/3 innings. Manager Bruce Bochy said Tony Watson or Sam Dyson will fill in at closer while Strickland is out, per Pavlovic.
Bochy said that he is “disappointed” and “crushed” about Strickland’s injury, noting that the right-hander had grown a lot as a pitcher and as a person, Pavlovic adds.
Strickland has a problem with anger, it appears. He exacted revenge on Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper last year, throwing a 98 MPH fastball at him, then punched him in the head when the two brawled. Strickland wanted revenge because, in the 2014 playoffs, Harper stared at a home run he hit off of Strickland.