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Soto makes season debut

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TORONTO -- Rangers catcher Geovany Soto, freshly activated off the 60-day disabled list, was behind the plate for his season debut in Friday's series opener against the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre.

Soto, slotted into the No.9 spot in the order, missed the entire first half of the season after tearing the lateral meniscus cartilage in his right knee -- an injury which required surgery -- during Spring Training. The 31-year-old appeared in 11 games on a rehab assignment with Double-A Frisco and Triple-A Round Rock, hitting a combined .200 across the two levels.

"My knee feels good," Soto said. "Tightness is going to come. I felt great down there. I know it's not big league pitching, but it is still good pitching. I worked really hard to get back and I'm ready to help my team win."

The plan is for Soto and Robinson Chirinos to receive the bulk of playing time behind the plate for the Rangers, who also have catchers J.P. Arencibia and Chris Gimenez on the active roster. With the logjam at catcher, Arencibia will primarily be used as a first baseman, where he got the start Friday after getting his contract purchased from Round Rock on Thursday.

Soto, whom the Rangers acquired from the Cubs in a 2012 deal, hit .245/.328/.466 with nine homers last season.

Chris Toman is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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