Joakim Soria leaves game with sore elbow

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Royals closer Joakim Soria was forced from his appearance Sunday against the Indians by elbow soreness, the Kansas City Star’s Bob Dutton reports.

Soria retired just one of the five batters he faced before departing and was charged with three runs. It was the third time in three spring appearances that he gave up at least one run.

Soria, of course, struggled mightily early last season amid concerns that he might be hurting. He did bounce back as the year went on, though at no point was he ever so dominant as he was in previous seasons.

The Royals spent some money to land big Jonathan Broxton as a backup to Soria this winter.  They also have Greg Holland as a potentially outstanding late-game reliever, so Soria may not be as big of a loss as many would think. Still, it’s been a bleak spring in Kansas City, what with catcher Salvador Perez having been lost for at least the first couple of months and now Soria’s status up in the air.

Padres sign Aaron Loup to a one-year deal

Aaron Loup
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Free agent lefty reliever Aaron Loup has been given a locker in the Padres’ clubhouse, AJ Cassavell of MLB.com reported Sunday. Per MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, Loup received a one-year MLB deal with a club option for 2020. The Padres will shift right-hander Garrett Richards to the 60-day injured list to make room on the 40-man roster.

Loup, 31, began the 2018 season with the Blue Jays and was traded to the Phillies for minor league right-hander Jacob Waguespack at the midseason deadline. The veteran left-hander pitched just two innings in Philadelphia before hitting the injured list with a forearm strain and returned for a handful of appearances at the end of the year, bringing him up to a 4.54 ERA, 3.2 BB/9, 10.0 SO/9, and 0.3 fWAR across 39 2/3 combined innings.

Assuming health issues don’t complicate his next campaign in San Diego, Loup will be added to the bullpen alongside fellow left-handers Matt Strahm and José Castillo (with the possible late addition of southpaw reliever Brad Wieck, who underwent surgery for testicular cancer earlier this year). There are worse places to be — according to FanGraphs, the Padres’ ‘pen jumped from second-worst in 2017 to second-best in the league with a cumulative 3.53 ERA, 3.31 FIP, and 8.7 fWAR in 2018.