Joakim Soria throws second bullpen, nears return to the Tigers

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Matthew Mowery of the Oakland Press reports that Tigers reliever threw a bullpen session and didn’t feel anything in his oblique, a good sign as the reliever hopes to return to the Tigers soon. The Tigers will examine Soria on Saturday to see how he feels and proceed from there. No timetable for his return has been given, though it sounds like he isn’t too far away.

Soria hasn’t pitched since August 9, making only six relief appearances after coming over from the Rangers. Between both teams, Soria has posted a 3.58 ERA with 17 saves and a 45/6 K/BB ratio in 37 2/3 innings.

Closer Joe Nathan, who has struggled mightily this season, has only pitched in three games since August 26, but all three have been scoreless and mostly drama-free. Had Nathan’s struggles continued, the Tigers might have felt a pressing need to rush Soria along. They entered Friday’s action a game behind the Royals for first place in the AL Central.