04/29/09 4:40 PM ET
Unfazed Soto returns to Cubs' lineup
Scuffling catcher isn't concerned with slow start at plate
By Tom Singer / MLB.com
"I don't know if that's affected my start in any way," Soto said. "I really don't know."While at Cubs camp this spring, Soto went 8-for-25 in Cactus League games. While teaming with Yadier Molina as backups for Ivan Rodriguez for Puerto Rico, he was 3-for-13. The 38 game-action at-bats are considerably low, especially when compared to his 62 exhibition at-bats prior to his stellar rookie season. But Soto had hit .194 in those at-bats, hardly sending him into the season on a high. He is more conspicuous now, another element of the "sophomore jinx." "Sometimes," said Piniella, who has been there, having been named the 1969 American League Rookie of the Year, "a young player just has to relax and you have to give him a little time to get himself together." Before Wednesday's game, Soto was the picture of relaxation. "I still have 400 at-bats to go. I'm really not pressing," he said. "I'm trying to do the same thing I did last year. I'm really not putting any extra pressure on myself."
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.