Soto Making a Push

Geovany Soto, 24, is pushing veteran catcher Jason Kendall for playing time down the stretch.

Soto () is hitting .387 with two homers and four RBIs in 11 games. Kendall, since coming to the Cubs in a trade with Oakland, has hit a decent .284 with one homer and 19 RBIs in 52 games.

Behind the plate, Soto has thrown out two out of eight opponents who tried to steal off of him. Kendall has thrown out five out of 55, and two of the runners he nabbed came when they were retired for sliding over the base.

The ultimate decision is up to manager Lou Piniella, and he's probably going to go with experience over the hot hand.

But Soto is impressing people and could be bidding for a starting job next year.

"He waited his turn," Cubs farm director Oneri Fleita said. "I think he's shown he deserves a shot. And (general manager Jim Hendry) insinuated to him that he's going to get that shot. But this game is all about what you do today and tomorrow. If he has a good winter and comes back to spring training like he did this year and keeps moving forward, that's what you're looking for. His better days are ahead of him."

Soto was selected the Pacific Coast League's Most Valuable Player this season after hitting .353 with 26 homers and 109 RBIs for Class AAA Iowa.

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