Geovany Soto targets March 15 return

SURPRISE, Ariz. – Texas Rangers catcher Geovany Soto has set a target date of March 15 to begin playing in Cactus League games.

Soto, who had arthroscopic surgery Saturday to remove a small bone in his left foot, is back in Arizona and can’t do any baseball activities until the sutures heal. He’s wearing a boot as a precaution, but he is able to walk.

“I should have plenty of time (to get ready for the season),” Soto said. “Everything went well. Hopefully, here in a couple of days I’ll start working out in the gym on the bike.”

Soto said the bone in his foot hadn’t bothered him at all before last week. But because the recovery time isn’t long, Soto decided to get it done now instead of trying to deal with it the entire season.

“I spent the whole offseason working out and getting better in every aspect – catching, hitting – and I came out here and spent a week and a half preparing myself,” Soto said. “It’s a minor setback, but starting March 15 I should have plenty of time.”

Soto was signed this offseason to be the club’s primary catcher. He hit .245 last season with nine homers and 22 RBIs. His pitchers have raved about how he calls games. The Rangers also signed J.P. Arencibia this winter and he’ll get plenty of time behind the plate in the first few weeks of Cactus League games as Soto rehabs.