Tag: Joakim Soria

Joakim Soria Tigers

Next up on the block: Tigers “working to trade” closer Joakim Soria


Now that the Tigers are officially open for business as sellers and David Price is headed to Toronto this comes as no surprise: Jon Morosi of FOXSports.com reports that Detroit is “working to trade” closer Joakim Soria.

Soria was acquired from the Rangers in a trade deadline deal last year and has fared well stepping into the Tigers’ closer role for the injured Joe Nathan this season, saving 23 games with a 2.85 ERA and 36/11 K/BB ratio in 41 innings.

Soria has a lengthy track record of bullpen excellence dating back to his days with the Royals, but he’s also a 31-year-old impending free agent whose overall numbers aren’t quite as fantastic as they used to be.

Extremely Aggravating and Inexplicable Quote of the Day: Brad Ausmus

Brad Ausmus

As we noted in the recaps, Neftali Feliz imploded in the eighth inning for the Tigers last night, capped off by a Franklin Gutierrez grand slam. Of course the real problem there as not Feliz — a bad pitcher is gonna bad pitch sometimes and Feliz has been a bad pitcher late and in jams this year — but Brad Ausmus’ bullpen management which put Feliz in a position to fail. And, more to the point, put him in a position to fail with no chance of being bailed out by better pitchers.

Specifically, Ausmus had no one warming up in the pen during Feliz’s meltdown. This despite the fact that both Joakim Soria — who has had multi-inning saves already this year — and Alex Wilson — who has been effective — were both available. Nope, it was Feliz’s inning to sink or swim. Why? Here’s Ausmus:

That’s the reason Tigers fans are grumpy right now, folks. And it’s just latest reason why, for all of the talent on the Tigers’ roster, their season is skidding off the rails.

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

Kyle Schwarber

Cubs 5, Reds 4: Rookie Kyle Schwarber hit a two-run homer to tie it in the ninth inning and send it to extras and then, in the thirteenth, hit a solo homer to put the Cubs ahead for good. He’s also from Middletown Ohio, just up the road from Great American Ballpark, so this homecoming was really damn sweet. Or at least the second homecoming. A little over a week ago he was the MVP of the Future’s Game in the same park. The future is now for him, however. In his two stints in the bigs this season Schwarber is 16 for his first 39 with three homers, two doubles, a triple and ten driven in.

Mariners 11, Tigers 9: This was . . . bad. After the Tigers battled back from a 5-1 deficit and led 8-6, Neftali Feliz came into the game in the eighth inning and loaded the bases, threw a wild pitch and then, after loading the bases again on an intentional walk, gave up a pinch hit grand slam to Franklin Gutierrez. Worse: as Feliz was busy imploding, there was no one warming in the Tigers bullpen. After the game, Brad Ausmus was asked about it and said he had two guys left: Joakim Soria and Alex Wilson. He said he was saving Soria for the ninth — apparently the idea of him getting a four-out save or even coming in to put out a fire when the game was on the line was anathema to Ausmus — and he didn’t bring in Alex Wilson because, according to Ausmus, he was the only guy left who could go multiple innings and he was being saved for extras.

How one is such a slave to the three-out closer and how one saves another pitcher for extra innings when the game is being lost right in front of his damn eyes in the eighth is an utter mystery to me. As Leo Durocher once said, “you don’t save a pitcher for tomorrow. Tomorrow it may rain.” The “tomorrow” part of that applies to extra innings too, and “rain” can be considered metaphorical here.

Yankees 3, Orioles 2: Brendan Ryan hasn’t done a heck of a lot this year but he hit a tiebreaking RBI double in the sixth inning of this one. A-Rod had a sac fly and Chase Headley had an RBI double as well as the Yankees put another game between themselves and one of their division rivals.

Mets 7, Nationals 2: The Mets’ lineup finally came through, with pinch hitter Eric Campbell coming through with a big hit with runners on in the seventh and then the rest of the offense pouring it on late with four runs in the ninth. Jacob deGrom struck out eight and picked up his tenth win. He only threw 82 pitches n six innings and probably could’ve gone eight innings or the distance even, but Collins use of Campbell in that key moment of the game is the sort of thing one has to do when the offense has been struggling so much. Worked out nicely.

Rays 1, Phillies 0: Aaron Nola made his MLB debut and it was a nice one, allowing only one run on five hits over six innings, striking out six. Unfortunately for him he got no run support at all as Nathan Karns and five Rays relievers combined to shut out the Phillies. The only run in the game: Karns hitting a homer off of Nola. He is the first AL pitcher to homer in a game in four years.


Braves 4, Dodgers 3: AP wire story headline:


I guess you’re scrappy if you have almost no stuff — only 59 of Alex Wood’s 107 were strikes — and still win anyway. In Johnson’s case you’re scrappy if you spend the last few days demanding to be traded and then drive in a couple on a groundout and a single. Nominate them for the Heart and Hustle Award, I guess.

Cardinals 8, White Sox 5: Matt Holliday’s first homer since early May was a fourth inning grand slam that put the Cardinals up 7-0 and effectively ended the competitive portion of this game. Holliday singled and scored a run too. Prospect Stephen Piscotty made his major league debut for St. Louis as well and had an infield single and struck out twice.

Royals 3, Pirates 1: Jarrod Dyson hit a two-run single in the eighth inning and then came around to score on an Alcides Escobar single. The Pirates threatened in both the eighth and ninth, giving some scares to the usually dominant Wade Davis and Greg Holland, but each shook their way out of jams. This could be a World Series preview. Which would’ve been an insane thing to say just a couple of years ago.

Brewers 8, Indians 1:Matt Garza pitched six shutout innings in his return from the disabled list and Jean Segura — Jean Segura?! — hit a two-run homer. The Indians hit into three double plays.

Astros 8, Red Sox 3: Chris Carter was in an 0-for-20 slump before a single and then later hit a two-run homer. Carlos Correa drove in two. The Red Sox blew a 3-0 lead and have lost six straight.

Rangers 9, Rockies 0: Shin-Soo Choo hit for the cycle in this one, finished off with a leadoff triple in the ninth inning. He doubled in the second inning, homered in the fourth and singled in the fifth and finished with three RBI. Delino DeShields has four hits and fell a homer short of the cycle. Two in one game would’ve been trippy.

Marlins 3, Diamondbacks 0: Mat Latos could be traded before the deadline. If so, he just made himself look more attractive, tossing seven shutout innings and striking out seven. After the game he said “Right now I wear a Marlins uniform so I have to take care of business as a Marlin.” Our condolences to Latos and his family in this obviously difficult time.

Angels 7, Twins 0: Matt Shoemaker could lose his starting rotation gig when Jered Weaver returns from the disabled list. He’s trying to make that decision more difficult for Mike Scioscia, though, by doing things like striking out ten Twins in six shutout innings and allowing only two hits. Meanwhile, Chris Ianetta homered and drove in four on the night.

Blue Jays 7, Athletics 1: Russell Martin, Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion each homered. Martin’s was a three-run shot. Mark Buehrle won his 11th, allowing one run and eight hits in seven innings. The game was a Buehrle Special too, lasting only two hours and thirty-eight minutes.

Giants 9, Padres 3: Chris Heston had a no-hitter going into the sixth inning and ended up allowing only that hit while pitching seven and a third. Hunter Pence, Brandon Crawford and Hector Sanchez all homered. Sanchez’s was a grand slam.

Big night for slugging catchers, no?

Looking ahead to the second half: The Tigers are in deep, deep trouble

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The Tigers have made the playoffs in each of the last four years. They came into 2015 as a somewhat diminished team, but many nonetheless expected them to once again win the AL Central or, at the very least, remain relevant in that conversation.

As of now, however, they are a full nine games behind the Kansas City Royals in the division. They are only three and a half back in the Wild Card race, but there are three teams ahead of them, another team tied with them and another four teams within two games of them on the backside. And the worst part about it, Detroit looks to be in worse shape than any of them heading into the second half.

The biggest reason for that is obvious: Miguel Cabrera, perhaps the best hitter in the game, is on the shelf with a Grade 3 strain of his calf muscle. That will keep him out of action until at least mid-August, and likely a bit later than that. Losing a guy hitting .350/.456/.578 for weeks on end is going to hurt anyone, but there is perhaps no other team who relies on one guy as much as the Tigers rely on Cabrera.

The rotation is also kind of a mess, as only All-Star David Price has posted a better-than-league average ERA on the year. The back end of the rotation has been horrific lately, with Alfredo Simon posting a 11.12 ERA in his last five starts, Shane Greene has posted a 12.57 over that time and Justin Verlander, finally back from the DL, has been getting beaten around on the regular.

Because there may be children reading this we will not speak of the bullpen, as they need not be exposed to such obscenity.

So what can the Tigers do? And, more importantly, what will they do?

If you were looking at this objectively, you’d probably think that it’s time to rebuild or, at the very least, re-jigger with the hope of competing anew next year or the year after. How to do that? Think hard about shopping David Price, Yoenis Cespedes, Joakim Soria, Alex Avila, and Alfredo Simon, all of whom are in their walk years. Price may be nice to keep around but he’s going to be super expensive on the market this winter. The rest could all bring in some much needed young talent to place around Cabrera, Jose Iglesias, J.D. Martinez, Ian Kinsler young catcher James McCann and an aging yet still effective Victor Martinez. It’s not ideal — questionable trades and free agent decisions have decimated a once-dominant rotation — but getting something for these guys rather than nothing seems to make a heck of a lot of sense given where the Tigers are right now.

Except that scenario is highly unlikely given what we’ve seen from the Tigers front office in the past and given what they’ve been saying publicly. Owner Mike Illitch is 85-years-old and has plowed money into this team. Nothing about his approach or what people close to the Tigers say about his expectations suggests that he’s interested in a rebuild. GM Dave Dombrowski is likewise an historical buyer, not a seller, and nothing he or people close to him have said anything to suggest he’s approaching this trade deadline any differently.

But what is available for him to buy? And what does he, with his nearly barren farm system, have to sell? Not much, frankly, so if he is buying, it would likely involve taking on some bad contracts and accepting second-tier trade fodder. That doesn’t seem like a difference-making proposition in a longshot battle for the division title and a chaotic Wild Card race.

What it does seem like, however, is a futile gesture. The Tigers are old, they’re hurt and they’re expensive. If nothing changes in the second half, they’ll also be on the outside looking in come playoff time for the first time in years. And, perhaps, they’ll be facing a future like that of the Cincinnati Reds or — perish the thought — the Philadelphia Phillies. Teams which didn’t rebuild aggressively when it became clear they were about to fall short. And which now face a long time in the wilderness.

Video: Brian Dozier hits walk-off homer as Twins stun Tigers

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JULY 10: The Minnesota Twins celebrate a Brian Dozier #2 heads into home plate after hitting a walk-off three-run home run against the Detroit Tigers during the ninth inning of the game on July 10, 2015 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the Tigers 8-6. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

The Tigers entered the bottom of the ninth inning last night with a 6-1 lead over the Twins. They somehow ended up losing the game.

Joe Mauer got the rally started with an infield single off Bruce Rondon before Miguel Sano followed with a ground-rule double. Rondon was able to strike out Trevor Plouffe, but Eddie Rosario singled in a run which caused Tigers manager Brad Ausmus to bring in his closer, Joakim Soria. However, Soria walked Aaron Hicks to load the bases before hitting Kurt Suzuki to force in a run. Danny Santana followed with a two-run single to bring to the Twins within one run, which brought Brian Dozier to the plate…

It was his second walk-off homer this week. Dozier is now batting .259/.331/.521 with 19 home runs, 49 RBI, nine steals, and 66 runs scored over 86 games this season. Somehow that’s not good enough to be an All-Star.

By the way, this sort of comeback hasn’t happened much recently:

It was a brutal loss for the Tigers, who are now a season-high eight games back in the American League Central.