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Bullpen Brian's Tweets

Soto, Aramis & Peter Gammons

By bullpenbrian at 07.27.2011 1 comment.

It’s been an up and down season offensively for Geovany Soto. But the catcher has steadily improved since returning from a strained groin and trip to the DL in mid-May.

Soto’s hit so well as of late Mike Quade inserted him into the cleanup spot Tuesday night in Milwaukee. He went 1-for-4.

Since his DL return, Soto is batting .258 with 6 HR and 15 RBI. But the real progress has come during the last week with Soto hitting .333, including a 12-for-33 mark during the recent homestand.

However, as I’ve said before, Soto’s true value, as with any catcher, isn’t his offensive numbers. It’s what he does behind the plate for the Cubs’ pitching staff…a thinned-out rotation that posted seven quality starts over the 10-game homestand.

The 28-year-old backstop is doing a fine job calling games, blocking pitches in the dirt and gunning down nearly 30-percent of would-be base stealers. None of which can be overlooked.

Soto’s been a model of progress since his off the field troubles two years ago and a guy I hope the Cubs hang onto for years to come. Whatever comes of Soto offensively is simply icing on the cake.

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All About Aramis

Aramis leads the Cubs with 9 HR and 22 RBI this month, which is also the most home runs this month in the majors.

In addition, Ramirez leads MLB with 9 HR coming on the first-pitch, including his first inning 2-R blast Tuesday night in Milwaukee.

That’s the most first-pitch home runs for a Cubs since Derrek Lee clubbed 11 in 2009.

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The Cubs are 15-25 against the N.L. Central. That ties for the second-most losses against a team’s own division with Baltimore, Colorado and Kansas City.

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Peter Gammons

-“If the Cubs put Garza on the market, they wouldn’t get what the Rays got,” said one GM on Monday. Sam Fuld has really helped. Nineteen-year old shortstop Hak-Ju Lee is hitting .324 with an .822 OPS in the Florida State League, and one scout who watched him recently says “he has a chance to be a star.”

Outfielder Brandon Guyer is hitting .305 with an .875 OPS in the International League, has already hit one homer for the Rays and plays hard all the time. Fireballing right-hander Chris Archer has had an inconsistent Double-A season, but throws 92 to 95 mph with a 90-mph slider and likely will be an important player by 2013, possibly at the end of games.

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Casey McGehee

-Brewers infielder cherishes time with son who has cerebral palsy.

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Wire Watch

-Yankees activated 3B Eric Chavez from the 60-Day disabled list.
-Orioles activated DH Vladimir Guerrero from the 15-Day disabled list.
-Tigers outrighted 3B Brandon Inge to Toledo Mud Hens.
-Reds recalled Yonder Alonso from Louisville Bats.

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