3) Joakim Soria Failed Again
Let’s face it, Kansas City Royals fans, Joakim Soria has been something of a disappointment in the bullpen after signing a three-year, $27 million deal to return to KC. He lost his set-up man role to Kelvin Herrera with a horrible April, regained a role in the Kansas City three-headed monster with a strong May, and now sports a quite respectable 3.09 ERA.
But the KC Royals didn’t bring him back to be “respectable”. The front office was looking to land a top free-agent bullpen arm to continue their recent back end dominance. While the Kansas City Royals still lead major-league baseball in bullpen ERA, they have not been quite the sure thing in the late innings that they have been in the past. A big reason for the slide has been Soria.
Joakim Soria famously failed to nail down a ninth-inning save opportunity to open the Cleveland Indians series on June 2, triggering an eight-game losing streak on the heels of a six game winning string. On Tuesday, Soria had the chance to help his team prevent the two-game sweep to the Mets. Instead, he gave up a solo home run in the sixth inning right after his team had tied up the game in the top half of the frame.
Matt Reynolds‘ first career home run ended up being the difference in New York’s 4-3 win.
Yes, Ned Yost asked Soria to get one batter in the fifth, sit, then pitch in the sixth. Yes, most teams would still consider Joakim Soria a bullpen asset rather than detriment. But, Soria isn’t the same shut-down guy that saved 160 games in his first stint with the KC Royals.
Next: Alcides Escobar