Joakim Soria close to joining Rangers

4 Comments

Joakim Soria has thrown five scoreless innings while rehabbing in the minors and Master Tesfatsion of MLB.com reports that the once-dominant reliever “could join the Rangers next week.”

Soria is coming back from Tommy John elbow surgery last spring and has a 7/1 K/BB ratio while allowing just one hit in five appearances.

He’d likely be eased into a setup role in front of closer Joe Nathan and if healthy could make a huge impact in the second half. Prior to the elbow injury that knocked him out for all of last season Soria had a 2.40 ERA and 9.7 strikeouts per nine innings for the Royals from 2007-2011.

Joey Votto: “I tried to get fatter. I succeeded at that apparently.”

Andy Lyons/Getty Images
2 Comments

We’ve poked fun often at the spring training trope of players showing up to camp in the “best shape of [their] life.” Reds first baseman Joey Votto has turned that entirely on its head. Talking about his offseason, the 2010 NL MVP said, “I tried to get fatter. I succeeded at that apparently. We did all the testing and I am fatter,” Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Votto, of course, wasn’t trying to say he’s not in shape; he was just using some of his trademark self-deprecating humor.

Votto did get serious when discussing the state of the rebuilding Reds. As Buchanan also reported, Votto said, “I think we’re starting to get to the point where people are starting to get tired of this stretch of ball. I think something needs to start changing and start going in a different direction. I’m going to do my part to help make that change.”

Votto, 34, is under contract with the Reds through at least 2023, so he still has plenty of incentive to help see the rebuild through. He has been nothing short of stellar over the last three seasons. This past season, he hit .320/.454/.578 with 36 home runs, 100 RBI, and 106 runs scored in 707 appearances across all 162 games. Votto led the majors in walks (134) and on-base percentage and led the National League in OPS (1.032).

Despite Votto’s presence, both FanGraphs and PECOTA are projecting the Reds to put up a 74-88 record. The club had a pretty quiet offseason, expecting to enter 2018 with largely the same roster as last year.