One of the under-the-radar stories that have developed in Spring Training has been the absence of Gregory Soto. The veteran reliever was added to the Phillips this past off-season, and the club has big expectations for the former All-Star.
Due to some complications this Winter, Gregory has been unable to make it to Clearwater. Finally, on Wednesday afternoon, Soto reported to the Phillies facilities and will begin to get his reps in as we move closer to Opening Day.
The Phillies’ left-handed reliever spends his off-seasons back home in the Dominican Republic. Just before Gregory Soto was ready to report with his teammates, an issue with his visa arose.
This is very similar to the situation that Ranger Suarez had last year in Spring Training. Suarez was not able to report on time with the Phillies, delaying his season just a bit. Ranger’s issue, however, was more of a fallout of the MLB Lockout than it was with the countries at hand.
The former Tigers’ closer was expected to pitch for the Dominican Republic team in the World Baseball Classic. Since his late arrival to the U.S., he will no longer be a member of the team for this year’s games.
Since Soto has not been able to pitch in regular Spring Training action, there is a chance he might see limited action when the year starts. Luckily, he lives right down the road from the Phillies international fieldhouse in the Dominican Republic. This is a designed area for the Phillies’ international prospect, so the former All-Star was able to get some work in.
There should be no issues moving forward for Gregory Soto.
Assuming that the work he put in while in the DR was good enough, he should be seeing games by this time next week. This is not Soto’s first Spring Training, so he should know his body well enough to know if he can pitch.
With Opening Day in exactly three weeks, I believe that is plenty of time for Gregory Soto to get acclimated and ready to pitch when the Phillies head to Texas to take on the Rangers.
Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire