The hard-throwing Soto started making his mark as the Reds' outstanding pitcher in
1980, working short relief, long relief, and starting. From 1981 to 1985, Soto had
more strikeouts than any major league pitcher, including
a club-record 274 in 1982.
He received the Buck Canel Award as the outstanding Latin-American in the majors
in 1983 and started that year's All-Star Game. He led the NL in complete games in
1983 and 1984, was Cincinnati's MVP in 1982 and 1983, tied a club record by starting
on Opening Day five straight years (1982-86), and set a club record with four Opening
Day wins in Cincinnati. Soto developed severe shoulder trouble in 1986. He worked
hard to make Cincinnati's 1988 squad and even started the Reds' home opener, but
he was ineffective and was released before the All-Star break. Soto ended his Cincinnati
career second on the club's all-time strikeout list. A comeback attempt with the
Dodgers later that season failed amidst more injuries.