KC Royals fans should blame manager Ned Yost for using a reliever caught in a career-worst slump rather than Joakim Soria.
Joakim Soria used to be one of the best relievers in baseball. He did it right here for the Kansas City Royals, racking up 160 saves in five seasons between 2007-2011. Soria posted an outstanding 2.40 ERA and represented Kansas City in two all-star games. He might haven been the best player on the team during that time span.
It’s no secret that he’s been awful in 2016 after he returned to the Royals with a three-year, $25 million contract. Soria’s 4.12 ERA is bad enough. But, the worst part is that he has surrendered the lead in 14 games. He’s been even worse in the last three weeks. Soria has given up leads in five losses when the KC Royals were fighting to stay alive in the AL playoff race.
At this point, Kansas City Royals fans can’t help but cringe when he comes into a close game.
However, we shouldn’t blame Joakim Soria for those blown games. I have no doubt that Soria is giving his all. He is a proud man who excelled when the KC Royals were nothing short of awful. I doubt he suddenly lost his desire to win because he’s too busy counting his money.
Instead, most of the blame should fall on manager Ned Yost. Yost is the one who has insisted on putting the struggling Soria in position to lose games.