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 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."
Players express sadness over Torrealba's departure
ARLINGTON -- Between two trades with the Cubs, the Rangers gave up three Minor League players. But Yorvit Torrealba, who was designated for assignment following the deal that sent Cubs catcher Geovany Soto to the Rangers, will also be lost.The Rangers have 10 days to either trade or release Torrealba, who batted .236 with three home runs and 12 RBIs in 49 games with the Rangers this season. After going on paternity leave earlier this month, Torrealba had seven hits in his last 15 at-bats. His former teammates, while excited about the additions of Soto and Ryan Dempster, admitted they would miss Torrealba. "I'm going to miss how fun he's been," David Murphy said. "He's a very upbeat guy that keeps the game fun all the time. He's a fiery guy that gets the team pumped up. He's been a huge contributor to this organization for the last two years." "He's a character," Josh Hamilton said. "He was just a good teammate. He had experience and we can use guys around here that have experience." Torrealba was a more productive hitter last year than he was this season. He hit .273 with seven home runs and 37 RBIs in 113 games in 2011. Signed as a free agent by the Rangers in 2010, Torrealba recorded six hits in 17 postseason at-bats over seven games last year. "It's tough losing a guy like Torrealba," Matt Harrison said. "I didn't know about it until I got home last night, so I didn't get a chance to talk to him. He's a great teammate and a great clubhouse guy. He's going to be well-missed around here."
Oswalt to 'pen as Feldman stays in rotation
ARLINGTON -- Scott Feldman tossed eight scoreless innings in his last start. Roy Oswalt gave up eight runs in Monday's loss to the Angels. When the Rangers traded for the Cubs' Ryan Dempster on Tuesday, one of them had to go to the bullpen.Feldman, who has bounced back and forth between being a starter and a reliever, remained in the rotation while Oswalt, who has spent his entire 16-year professional career as a starting pitcher, was sent to the bullpen. "It's just where we are in the season. Like a lot of things, nothing is permanent," general manager Jon Daniels said. "The other guys are throwing the ball well. We're going to put the best club out there that gives us the best chance to win that day. Feldman has earned the right to be out there." In his last six appearances -- five starts and one relief outing -- Feldman is 5-0 with a 2.91 ERA after starting the season 0-6 with a 6.50 ERA across seven starts and five relief appearances. In Sunday's win, Feldman, a 17-game winner in 2009, blanked the White Sox over a career-high eight innings, needing just 88 pitches to do so. "In the beginning of the season, I was just mad about things I had no control over," Feldman said. "That's not a very good mentality to have. It doesn't really do any good for myself or the team. I just kind of let everything go and then tell myself that when I get in there, I'm going to do my best. Oswalt, who was 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA in his two previous starts, gave up eight runs on 11 hits in 5 1/3 innings on Monday night, allowing three home runs for the second time in his last four starts. After allowing one run in 6 1/3 innings during a win over the A's on July 17, he was scratched from his next start with back stiffness and fell to 3-2 with a 6.49 ERA on Monday. Opponents are hitting .358 off him this season. "I went and looked back at the Oakland start. I felt really good in that start with my arm angle," Oswalt said. "Yesterday, I was leaning back. I don't know why I was doing it but I was leaning a little bit outside. In Oakland, I was straight in line with the plate."
Mark Lowe gave up three runs on two hits in one inning for Double-A Frisco in the second game of his rehab assignment on Monday, striking out two and walking one while throwing 11 of 18 pitches for strikes. He will next pitch two innings with Frisco on Thursday. "I made a lot of good pitches last night," he said. "My last two hitters I felt right where I was before I got hurt. I repeated my delivery and threw all my pitches. I was throwing strikes, had some swings and misses, everything went good."
Nelson Cruz hit a 453-foot home run over Greene's Hill above the center-field wall off the Angels' Jerome Williams on Monday. It was his fourth homer in eight games and his 15th of the year, giving the Rangers four players with 15 home runs this season.
Five pitchers allowed at least three runs in the Rangers' 15-8 loss to the Angels on Monday, tied for the most in a Major League game this season. It's happened six times this year, including the Rangers' 21-8 loss to the Mariners on May 30.
Christian Corona is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.