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Season Woes Continue To Haunt Kansas City's Joakim Soria

Joakim Soria has now made two appearances since the initial article was written on this site examining the pitching issues Soria has struggled with this season for the Royals, and it doesn't seem to have gotten any better in recent days.

Soria pitched in Friday's night marathon, which saw the Royals score five runs in the 14th inning as they defeated the Rangers12-7. In that game Soria did look good throwing one inning of shutout baseball. He struck out one, after allowing a leadoff double to begin the inning. However it wasn't a save situation, and the Royals were working with a five run lead against a Rangers club that had probably given up after allowing so many runs late in the game.

Fast forward to Sunday and Soria blows his fourth save in 11 chances this season, which is already a tie for his career high. It sounds worse when you realize in 2007, when Soria was 17-for-21 in saves opportunities, he was a rookie pitching out of middle relief for much of the season as Octavio Dotel was the closer before being traded to the Braves.

With just 16 strikeouts this season, versus 10 walks it is apparent the command is an issue. On Sunday just 12 of Soria's 24 pitches in the inning were strikes. The break on his pitches haven't been there either. I don't recall seeing a breaking pitch that buckles a hitter's knee like we have seen in the past. Something needs to be done by the Royals, and it definitely should have been done before today.