ARLINGTON -- Catcher Geovany Soto will make his first start for the Rangers on Thursday against the Angels when the other player the team just acquired from the Cubs, right-hander Ryan Dempster, also makes his Texas debut. Soto, who was traded to the Rangers for Double-A right-hander Jacob Brigham, batted .199 with six home runs and 14 RBIs in 52 games with the Cubs. He joined the Rangers Tuesday. Mike Napoli started Tuesday and will start again Wednesday. "I feel very excited," Soto said. "I had 12 great years in the Cubs organization, but that's how the business goes. I'm excited to come here and win a championship. ... I'm just here to work hard and make the adjustments I need to make. I'll do what I can to help this team win."
"We'll wait and see how it goes," manager Ron Washington said. "I'm going to make it as equal as I possibly can. It's hard to catch Napoli constantly in this heat. We've got a pretty good receiver in Soto. I'll get him in there. I just don't know how much." An All-Star and National League Rookie of the Year in 2008, Soto is known as one of the premier defensive catchers in baseball. His numbers at the plate are among the worst in his career but part of the reason he was acquired was because of his skills in the field. "He's a great catcher," Napoli said. "He's definitely had some great years in Chicago. He's going to be a great addition."
Soto began catching Dempster regularly in 2008, and since then the right-hander has gone is 58-46 with a 3.64 ERA.Roy Oswalt, who with the Astros played in the same division as Soto until he was traded to the Phillies in 2010, is one of the current Rangers most familiar with Soto's abilities. In 15 at-bats against Oswalt, Soto has six hits, including two doubles and a triple. "He's an All-Star type player and a tough out every time you face him. I think he'll help the team a lot," Oswalt said. "He's really good behind the plate. I got to see him for a number of years with the Cubs. He's a great add, for sure. He's done a really good job for the Cubs."