White Sox put Geovany Soto on disabled list

CLEVELAND — The White Sox put catcher Geovany Soto on the 10-day disabled list (retroactive to April 12) with right elbow inflammation on Thursday and purchased the contract of catcher Kevan Smith from Class AAA Charlotte.

Soto was scratched before the Sox’ 2-1 victory over the Indians on Wednesday with elbow soreness.

Smith, 28, was 7-for-16 with two doubles and nine RBI in his first four games with Charlotte this season. He appeared in 16 games during spring training, batting .343 with one homer and four RBI. He spent most of 2016 with the Knights, batting .219 with eight homers in 49 games and appeared in seven games with the Sox — going 2-for-16 with six strikeouts and no RBI.

Soto clubbed three homers in five games and had one other hit, a single. After appearing in 78 games for the Sox in 2015, the Sox brought him back to share catching duties with Omar Narvaez. Plagued by injuries during his career, Soto was limited to 26 games with the Angels last season because of knee problems and only 24 games in 2014 with the Athletics and Rangers because of knee and groin injuries.

Geovany Soto is congratulated by third base coach Nick Capra after hitting three run home run against the Tigers during the third inning at Guaranteed Rate Field on April 6, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)

Willy in for Melky

Outfielder Willy Garcia has turned heads at Class AAA Charlotte, and as luck would have it, he’s expected to show what he can do with the White Sox this weekend.

With left fielder Melky Cabrera going on paternity leave for the weekend series in Minnesota, Garcia could make his major-league debut as a temporary replacement.

Obtained on waivers from the Pirates in January, Garcia, 24, appears to be fixing the plate-discipline issues that stalled his ascent to the majors.

The Sox haven’t announced it, but all indications point to him joining the team Friday for three games.

“Things are definitely trending in the right direction for him,’’ said Sox director of player development Chris Getz, who was in Charlotte to watch the Knights kick off their season last week. “He’s an interesting guy. Very athletic — he has a lot of tools.’’

The 6-2, 215-pound, strong-armed, right-handed-hitting Dominican at one time was ranked 12th on Pirates prospects lists. But high strikeout rates and declining power at Class AAA Indianapolis in 2016 prompted the Pirates to cut him loose.

Garcia, batting fourth, went 11-for-26 with two home runs, eight walks and six RBI in the Knights’ first seven games and was the International League’s first hitter of the week.

“Since we got him, he’s shown up every day, wants to work and understands what he needs to do to improve,’’ Getz said. “He knows what his plate-discipline issues were. And he’s done a lot of things to correct some of the things that got him in trouble. He’s starting to take walks.’’

Garcia’s presence opens the possibility of an all-Garcia outfield with Leury and Avisail.

This and that

Todd Frazier (flu) missed his second consecutive game. He’s congested but also has stomach issues that might be related to food poisoning.

† The Sox were averaging 4.05 pitches per plate appearance in their first seven games, second-most in the American League. Frazier leads the majors with an average of 5.04.

Follow me on Twitter @CST_soxvan.
Email: dvanschouwen@suntimes.com

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