Rangers activate Soto, promote Arencibia

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Updated: 7/17 5:43 pm

Arlington, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Texas Rangers will have catcher Geovany Soto on the active roster for the first time this season when the team returns from the All-Star break Friday in Toronto.

Soto, sidelined since spring training due to a torn meniscus in his right knee, was activated from the 60-day disabled list on Thursday, with the Rangers also designating first baseman Carlos Pena for assignment.

The Rangers re-signed Soto in November to serve as the club's primary catcher, but were forced to deviate from that plan after he underwent a pair of surgeries in the spring. In addition to having his knee repaired in March, the 31-year-old had a procedure to remove a bone from his left ankle one month earlier.

Soto hit .245 with nine home runs and 22 RBI in just 163 at-bats for Texas a year ago.

Pena, a former All-Star and Silver Slugger recipient with the Tampa Bay Rays, batted just .136 with one homer and two RBI in 18 games after signing with Texas in mid-June.

In a related move, the Rangers selected the contract from J.P. Arencibia from Triple-A Round Rock and are expected to give the converted catcher a chance to fill the team's hole at first base.

Arencibia was sent to the minors in May after going 8-for-60 (.133) at the plate, but belted 14 homers in 48 games at Round Rock while hitting .279 with 41 RBI.

The Rangers have been wrecked by injuries at the first base position, with slugger Prince Fielder having undergone season-ending neck surgery and replacement Mitch Moreland also done for the year due to an ankle reconstruction.

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