Second opinion confirms Joakim Soria’s ligament damage, Tommy John surgery looms

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Joakim Soria moved one step closer to Tommy John surgery, as a second opinion from Dr. Lewis Yocum confirmed the initial diagnosis of a damaged ulnar collateral ligament.

Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star reports that Soria is “taking a few days off to consider options” following the second opinion, but adds that surgery “seems likely.”

If he does go under the knife Soria would miss all of this season and possibly the beginning of next season, which may cause the Royals to decline their $8 million option on the stud closer for 2013.

Jonathan Broxton and Greg Holland are the leading in-house candidates to replace Soria in the closer role and the Royals have already decided to move Aaron Crow back to the bullpen.

Report: Tigers to hire Ron Gardenhire as new manager

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The Tigers are expected to hire Ron Gardenhire as the team’s new manager upon completion of a contract, per Ken Rosenthal and Katie Strang of The Athletic. Gardenhire, 59, spent the 2017 season serving as the bench coach for the Diamondbacks.

Gardenhire managed the Twins for 13 seasons between 2002-14, amassing a 1,068-1,039 (.507) record in the regular season and reaching the playoffs six times.

According to Strang and Rosenthal, Gardenhire was one of 10 candidates to interview with the Tigers. Others included Alex Cora, Mike Redmond, Fredi Gonzalez, Joe McEwing, Hensley Meulens, Dave Clark, and Omar Vizquel. Apparently, GM Al Avila wanted a manager with previous major league managing experience.

The Tigers parted ways with previous manager Brad Ausmus at the end of the 2017 regular season, his fourth year at the helm.