Soto struck out swinging to end the eighth inning, and Koyie Hill was inserted behind the plate for the final two innings of the Cubs' 5-4 loss to the Detroit Tigers.
"I've done it a hundred times," said Soto, who aggravated an old injury with his swing. "My thumb, I pulled it a little bit. It hurt a little but nothing major. Lou [Piniella] asked me if it hurt a little bit, and I said it bothered me. He took me out to try to protect me in that situation right there."
The Cubs had taken a 4-3 lead at that point on Micah Hoffpauir's two-run homer in the eighth. Soto was 0-for-3 in the game with a sacrifice fly and batting .222. He expected to be in the lineup for Wednesday's game.
"I could've kept going today," Soto said. "[Piniella] told me to give it a rest. I could've played, no problem."
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.