It’ll be interesting to see how this Joakim Soria scenario plays out. Is he just rusty or is he just a little stiff or is there something really wrong?
That was the question left hanging after his ragged and rugged but successful save on Thursday against the Mariners.
Looking like the Soria of old, he got two quick outs but then got mired in a 29-pitch process that didn’t end until a run was in and Ichiro Suzuki rapped into a force-out with the bases loaded.
Just 13 of those pitches were strikes and the Kansas City Star’s Sam Mellinger did some statistical mining and found that was just the second time in two seasons Soria has thrown more balls than strikes. Also: only the third time that he’s allowed four baserunners and the fourth time he’s walked two while pitching an inning or less.
Soria, of course, is saying that he’s just fine. Manager Trey Hillman is saying he was just rusty. But he had stayed away from Soria for a couple of days because of that stiffness. Anyway, all the wariness goes back to that April week in Texas and Cleveland when he pitched only once and the Royals didn’t reveal his right shoulder was giving him trouble.
So stay tuned on this one.
— Dick Kaegel