Sidelined for the past month with a strained oblique muscle, Joakim Soria is slated to be activated from the disabled list and rejoin the Tigers’ bullpen for tonight’s game against the Royals.
Soria appeared in just six games for the Tigers after they acquired him from the Rangers in mid-July and was horrible with a 10.38 ERA, but prior to the trade he had a 2.70 ERA and 42/4 K/BB ratio in 33 innings for Texas.
Soria has plenty of closing experience from his days with the Royals–saving 160 games with a 2.40 ERA from 2007-2011–so it’s possible manager Brad Ausmus could eventually turn to him in the ninth inning if Joe Nathan continues to struggle or has to be shut down due to elbow problems.
Last night Cubs catcher Willson Contreras was placed on the injured list with a strained muscle in his right foot. That injury inspired the Cubs to go out and get another catcher. They acquired Martín Maldonado in a trade with Kansas City in exchange for lefty Mike Montgomery, in a deal that was announced after the Cubs loss to the Reds.
Maldonado, 32, was a Gold Glove winner in 2017 with the Angels. At the moment he’s hitting .227 with six homers and 17 RBIs in 74 games. Obviously, though, defense is his calling card, as he’s a .220 career hitter with 57 homers and 210 RBIs in 686 games.
Montgomery, 30, is 1-2 with a 5.67 ERA in 20 relief appearances for the Cubs this year. He’s heading back to where his pro career began. He was drafted by Kanas City in 2008, though he was traded away in the James Shields/Wade David/Wil Myers deal in 2012. He made his big league debut for Seattle in 2015. Dayton Moore said last night that the Royals plan to use Montgomery in the rotation as a replacement for Homer Bailey, who was dealt to Oakland on Sunday.