Joakim Soria has been the anchor for the Kansas City Royals for the better part of five seasons. In that span, he's saved 160 games for the Royals, and has carved out his role as one of the best young closers in all of baseball. Now on the verge of a possible breakthrough season for the team, Soria is having elbow issues at the wrong time.
During yesterday's spring training game against the Cleveland Indians, Soria left the game with a sore right elbow. He admitted that it wasn't a good sign.
"Oh, yeah, I’m worried," Soria told the Star. "Since I’ve had my Tommy John surgery (in 2003), I’ve never had anything like that. I don’t feel it’s that bad because before the Tommy John surgery, all of my strength went away. This time, it hasn’t. So I don’t feel like it’s that."
The only statement from the team as to any sort of timeline is that they will check it out in the next few days as he obviously takes it easy and receives some therapy.
"That’s a concern," manager Ned Yost said. "No doubt, it’s a concern, but you can’t get crazy concerned until the doctors evaluate it and see where we’re at."
The only silver lining is that Dayton Moore stocked up on bullpen arms in the offseason. Even with the transition of Aaron Crow to the rotation, Moore's acquisition of Jose Mijares and Jon Broxton lessens the burden on a bullpen that has a few arms that could fill in for Soria.
Still they are going to miss the experience of Soria's arm and it will be something the Royals have to adjust to moving forward.