It seemed like the biggest news to come out of last weekend's Cubs Convention was that catcher Geovany Soto lost almost 40 pounds in the last three months or so. That's a great move for a hefty player (though really he was only averaged-sized by catcher standards) who was nagged by injuries all of last year.
You could often see last year when Geo was struggling that he was still trying draw walks and make opposing pitchers burn through their pitch counts. He actually wasn't much of a power hitter until his Rookie of the Year 2008 season, when he had 23 homers, so with some of the bulk gone, it seems likely will see him slapping out a few more hits and pounding out fewer homers, and that's just fine. Just keep the line moving.
After a .218 season in 2009, it was tempting to wonder if Geo was going to be one of those one-year-wonders quickly broken down by the physical demands of working behind the plate. But, he's a smart hitter already, and now, hopefully, more durable.
Meanwhile, a blogger at ChicagoNOW, Rock Mamola from The Score, is already asking the question that sadly comes to mind in this era of steroids revelations: How did Geo lose the weight, and where did it--and his sudden power in 2007 and 2008--come from in the first place?
In White Sox news, SoxFest is coming up this weekend. The Sox signed closer Bobby Jenks and outfielder/probable DH Carlos Quentin to high-priced (but not high-risk) one-year deals, thus avoiding arbitration in both cases. Solid starter John Danks and disappointing reliever Tony Pena are still arb-eligible.
Maybe Geo can share some of his weight loss tips with Jenks. That would make Ozzie happy.