2/18 New, improved Geo
Thursday was not only the first day for pitchers and catchers to work out, but the first chance for Lou Piniella to see the slim, trim Geovany Soto hit. And it was impressive. The young catcher, who lost about 40 pounds this offseason, hit eight or nine batting practice home runs.
“The ball was jumping off his bat really well and he was getting through the ball really easy,” Piniella said. “When you lose weight, especially in the middle like he has, it’s much easier to get those hips through the ball.”
Cubs coach Matt Sinatro, who works with the catchers, also noticed that Soto seems to be quicker on his feet. That’s a good sign.
The Cubs talked to Soto at the end of last season about the need for him to get in shape, hire a personal trainer, change his diet.
“I was thinking [he’d lose] 10, 15 pounds,” Piniella said. “Whoever he used did such a good job, I feel like calling him myself.”
Said Carlos Marmol: “I said, ‘Are you crazy? How’d you do that?’ He looks like he’s 10 years old.”
— Carrie Muskat