ARLINGTON -- Ryan Dempster's Rangers debut this season was also Geovany Soto's first start with the team since being traded from the Cubs.
Soto caught Dempster in Chicago the last five years and has been behind the plate for both of Dempster's starts since they were dealt to the Rangers at the Trade Deadline. With Mike Napoli landing on the disabled list with a strained left quad on Saturday, Dempster will have a familiar face behind the plate for his next few starts as well.
"It's a hard enough thing going to a new team," Dempster said. "Then, all of a sudden, you have the guy that you've had for the last five years is there catching you. It makes the transition a lot easier. We're obviously very comfortable with each other."
Dempster bounced back from a shaky Rnagers debut that saw him give up a season-high eight runs against the Angels on Aug. 2 by giving up three unearned runs over 6 2/3 innings in a 6-3 victory over the Red Sox last Tuesday. Soto, who takes over as the Rangers' top catcher, has also benefitted by having his former Cubs teammate with him in Texas.
"I feel like that made it easier for the first couple of starts," Soto said. "Obviously, for the first start, we were working back there. I didn't have to worry a lot about the pitcher because I had seen him enough and he'd seen me enough. We know each other. It definitely helped."
Soto will likely start at catcher when Dempster takes the mound in Monday's series opener against the Yankees.