Cubs: Geovany Soto

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CHICAGO – Cubs catcher Geovany Soto says his left hand and wrist are fine. You couldn’t keep him out of the lineup in the National League Division Series even if they weren’t.

Just don’t call him a hero.

“You can say our team is made up of no heroes,” Soto said. “The bench has been huge for us all year. The bullpen, the starting pitching and everybody has been huge for us. Right now, I think we have a strong team.”

Strong is the operative word.

Soto was removed in the middle of a game last week after fouling a pitch off his left wrist and has been bothered by irritation in the hand during the second half of the season. He said he’s fine — which is good news for the Cubs. The club needs him. Believed to be the top candidate for the National League Rookie of the Year this season, Soto hit .285 with 23 home runs and 86 RBIs in 141 games in 2008.

“I just try to do the best I can and play hard for my team,” Soto said. “So far, they are happy with me. I’ll keep working hard and playing hard and that’s all they ask of me.”

What is being asked of Soto this week is to guide the pitchers, starting with Ryan Dempster in Game 1 of the NLDS.

“For us, it’s more of a matter of (Dempster) deserving it than being the right guy (to start Game One),” Soto said. “I think all four or five of our guys are the right guys. (Dempster) worked hard and had a great year so he deserves it.”

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