By Matt Snyder
Cubs catcher Geovany Soto has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with the groin injury he suffered Tuesday night against the Cardinals. Minor-league catcher Welington Castillo has been recalled as a corresponding move before Wednesday night's game against the Cardinals. Castillo will wear No. 53 and is available for the game.
Losing Soto is a big blow for the Cubs' struggling offense. He's hitting just .226 with three home runs, eight doubles and 12 RBI, but he has power potential. To illustrate the point, the Cubs are ranked highly in the NL in batting average and on-base percentage, yet rank near the bottom in runs scored and slugging percentage. As I tweeted earlier today, Carlos Zambrano has a better slugging percentage than every hitter aside from Alfonso Soriano and Reed Johnson. Soto is tied for second on the team in home runs -- again, with three.
Cubs' backup catcher Koyie Hill certainly isn't going to provide any punch. He has seven career home runs and a .302 slugging percentage in 715 career at-bats. This season, he's hitting .125 with a .576 OPS.
So maybe Castillo gets an extended look with Soto shelved? The 24-year-old hit .255 with 13 home runs, 59 RBI and 17 doubles in 69 Triple-A games last season. This season, he's hitting .245 with two homers and a .723 OPS in 14 Triple-A games. He did get 21 plate appearances last season for the Cubs -- his first appearances in the majors -- and hit .300 with a home run, four doubles and five RBI.
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