Joakim Soria
Joakim Soria
34-Year-Old PitcherRP
Oakland Athletics
Injury Hip
2019 Fantasy Outlook
As a veteran hand in an inexperienced White Sox bullpen, Soria headed into 2018 with the hopes of being the team's primary closer. He performed fairly well, converting 16 of 19 save opportunities and producing a 2.56 ERA with the South Siders as part of manager Rick Renteria's closing committee. Soria's stock took a hit when he was dealt to the Brewers at the trade deadline, not because his performance declined, but because he didn't sniff the ninth inning the rest of the season. He continues to put up good strikeout and walk numbers (75:16 K:BB in 60.2 innings) and his fastball hasn't lost any velocity with age. Additionally, his 2.40 FIP suggests he could've posted better numbers with a little more luck. He inked a two-year deal with Oakland, where he will be limited to setup duty behind Blake Treinen. Even if Treinen gets hurt, it's not a lock that the A's would give Soria the ninth inning over fellow ex-closer Fernando Rodney. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Athletics in December of 2018.
Battling hip discomfort
POakland Athletics
February 19, 2019
Soria is dealing with right hip discomfort, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
The Athletics don't appear to be overly concerned about the issue, but the cold weather has encouraged them to take things slowly with any pitchers suffering any sort of tightness. Soria should be in line for a setup role in front of Blake Treinen this season provided the hip issue doesn't linger.
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Pitching Stats
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2016
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2016vs Left .257 362 81 25 86 14 4 6
Since 2016vs Right .233 418 126 38 86 16 2 9
2018vs Left .259 119 24 7 29 5 1 3
2018vs Right .194 136 51 9 24 6 1 1
2017vs Left .269 99 25 6 25 4 1 1
2017vs Right .205 133 39 14 24 3 0 0
2016vs Left .246 144 32 12 32 5 2 2
2016vs Right .297 149 36 15 38 7 1 8
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2016
ERA on Road
ERA on Road
ERA on Road
ERA at Home
Since 2016Home 4.10 1.30 85.2 10 4 5 11.3 2.8 0.7
Since 2016Away 3.23 1.27 97.2 2 11 13 9.1 3.3 0.7
2018Home 3.54 0.96 28.0 2 0 5 11.3 1.0 1.0
2018Away 2.76 1.29 32.2 1 4 11 11.0 3.6 0.3
2017Home 4.78 1.25 26.1 4 2 0 12.0 3.8 0.0
2017Away 2.73 1.21 29.2 0 1 1 8.8 2.7 0.3
2016Home 4.02 1.63 31.1 4 2 0 10.9 3.7 1.1
2016Away 4.08 1.30 35.1 1 6 1 7.6 3.6 1.5
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Stat Review
How does Joakim Soria compare to other relievers?
This section compares his stats with all relief pitcher seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 30 innings). The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.
92.4 mph
Strand %
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Despite being 33 years old, Soria continues to produce. He missed some time with an oblique injury and amassed seven blown saves, but he was lights out for much of the season. His 3.70 ERA is lofty at first glance, but he ran into an enormous amount of bad luck. Batters produced a .338 BABIP off him, the highest mark of Soria's career. The veteran posted a 10.3 K/9 (his best mark since 2013), procured 20 holds and allowed just one home run all season, leaving indicators much better than his actual ERA (2.23 FIP, 3.08 xFIP). Between his strong peripherals and another uptick in average velocity last season, Soria seems to be aging like a fine wine. He was traded to the White Sox this winter, and appears poised to open the year as their closer, although they will likely attempt to flip him this summer. Still, barring further offseason moves to solidify their bullpen, Soria could net 20-plus saves at a very affordable price tag in drafts.
Soria's velocity ticked up again in 2016, this time to a career-high 92.5 mph, but that was about the only good news for the veteran. He finished the season with career highs in ERA (4.05), FIP (4.36) and WHIP (1.46), and he needed extra rest between appearances as the season winded down. The Royals continued to use him in a setup role despite his struggles. A three-year deal signed before the 2016 season means Soria probably isn't going anywhere soon, but it's hard to see him getting regular save opportunities as long as Kelvin Herrera is healthy. Soria is also on the wrong side of 30 and has undergone two Tommy John surgeries, so he's a major injury risk as well.
Soria’s 92.4 mph average fastball velocity last season was the highest of his big league career. Still, he struggled in a seventh-inning role at times and didn’t show the type of dominance with Pittsburgh that he displayed for many seasons in the American League. The 32-year-old registered 24 saves (23 with Detroit) but was also charged with six blown saves. Despite some bumps, Soria earned a three-year deal in free agency to return to Kansas City where he began his MLB career in 2007. With Wade Davis seemingly cementing himself in the closer role on the run to the World Series, Soria seems likely to pitch in the eighth inning to begin the year.
The Tigers acquired Soria prior to the 2014 trade deadline to help cure their bullpen woes. He seemed like the ideal fit, as he was putting together a good campaign in Texas. In 35 appearances with the Rangers, Soria was lights out, posting a 2.70 ERA, 0.87 WHIP and stellar 42:4 K:BB ratio with 17 saves in 33.1 innings. That success didn’t carry over to Detroit, as Soria posted a 4.91 ERA and 1.36 WHIP in 13 appearances. Soria also struggled in his two playoff appearances, which instilled very little confidence in Tigers fans who were probably unaware of his dominance in Texas. Heading into the 2015 season, Soria is arguably the Tigers' best relief pitcher on paper. He’s slated to begin the season in an eighth-inning setup role, which makes him the top option to assume closing duties if Joe Nathan struggles again in 2015. At the very least, Soria is a good handcuff option for Nathan owners, but he’s also worth a stash if you’re making speculative picks based on potential in-season closer changes.
Soria came off the disabled list in July, pretty much as expected, following his second career Tommy John surgery in 2012. Like most returning from that surgery, he struggled at times with his control upon his return (14 walks in 23.2 innings), though the accompanying 28 strikeouts show that he's got plenty of ability left post-surgery. Joe Nathan's departure via free agency leaves the door wide open for Soria to emerge as the closer by Opening Day, as his primary competition figures to be Neftali Feliz and Tanner Scheppers if the Rangers stick to internal options.
Soria missed the entire 2012 season after undergoing his second Tommy John surgery and he is now hoping to make a return for the 2013. The Rangers gave him a two-year deal in the offseason to continue his rehab, and possibly take over as their closer in 2014 as Joe Nathan's contract is up after this season. Do not be surprised if his return from the operation takes a bit longer this time around, although the Rangers have enough bullpen depth to avoid rushing him back too quickly. By most accounts, Soria will be ready to join the Texas bullpen in June if everything progresses as expected with his rehab.
Thought to be one of the most dependable closers in the game going into the season, Soria experienced failure for the first time in his career in 2011. He had 60 strikeouts, 17 walks and seven home runs allowed with a 4.03 ERA over 60.1 innings. It's those seven home runs that really did him in as four of them drove in two runs or more. While still hovering around 9.00 K/9IP, Soria's strikeout rate has decreased each of the last two seasons. This is no fluke as his swinging-strike rate has also fallen each of the last two seasons. His velocity however has not decreased, so owners should remain optimistic that Soria can get back to being among the elite closers in baseball for the 2012 season.
Already one of the game's best closers, Soria posted arguably his best season as a pro in 2010. He induced a groundball nearly 50 percent of the time a batter put the ball in play while averaging better than a strikeout per inning en route to a 1.78 ERA. He may not be able to duplicate those numbers, but it's clear the 26-year-old will be one of the top closers in the game for awhile as long as he stays healthy. Even playing for the Royals, who haven't shown any inclination to trade the All-Star, hasn't been able to slow his ascent.
Soria has quietly become one of the best closers in the game and had another dominant season in 2009. He strikes out better than a batter per inning with outstanding control (69:16 K:BB ratio). After a one-month stint on the disabled list in May, Soria returned to convert 30 of 33 save chances including all 10 of his opportunities in September. With his job security, he'll be near the top of any fantasy rankings of closers.
Wow. Soria has gone from a Rule 5 draft pick to one of the league’s elite closers in a matter of two seasons. He saved 42 games for a team that was not all that good, and had his second consecutive sub-1.00 WHIP. Neither righties nor lefties could hit better than .171 off him, and he allowed just 19 walks in 63 games. The Royals figure to improve in 2009, which would potentially create more save opportunities, but they will have to re-solidify the path to Soria after trading some of the bullpen’s key middle relievers.
Soria went from Rule 5 draft pick to a consistent closer in 2007 when called on to fill in for the injured, then traded, Octavio Dotel. He saved 17 out of 21 chances, to go with a WHIP of 0.942. He is a former starter, and there are some musings of moving him back to the rotation, but he is too good of an anchor to the bullpen. As long as the team progresses as it should, there is no reason to believe Soria can’t rack up 25-plus saves.
Soria was plucked from the San Diego system during the Rule 5 draft based mostly on his work in the Mexican Winter League, where he tossed a perfect game. The Royals don't appear to have a solid bullpen entering camp, so Soria may find himself in the thick of things early.
More Fantasy News
Reaches deal with Oakland
POakland Athletics
December 20, 2018
Soria signed a two-year, $15 million deal with the Athletics on Thursday, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports.
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Hits open market
PFree Agent
October 30, 2018
Soria declined his 2019 option with the Brewers and elected free agency.
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Picks up hold in victory
PMilwaukee Brewers
September 25, 2018
Soria struck out two batters and recorded his 11th hold of the season in Monday's victory over the Cardinals.
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Coughs up four runs in loss
PMilwaukee Brewers
September 1, 2018
Soria (1-4) was charged with four runs on two hits and two walks in two-thirds of an inning while taking the loss Saturday.
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Effective since return
PMilwaukee Brewers
August 27, 2018
Soria tossed a scoreless eighth inning in Sunday's victory over the Pirates.
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