Joakim Soria reflects on 2010, looks ahead
Great closers are often said to have the ability to forget about a bad outing. Joakim Soria, the 2010 Bruce Rice Royals Pitcher of the Year, didn’t have many nights to forget this past season. When he does need to put a game behind him, he learns from it rather than forgetting about it entirely. Soria allowed back-to-back home runs to Vladimir Guerrero and Josh Hamilton in the eighth inning on May 6 at Texas as the Rangers rallied for a 13-12 win. Afterwards, Soria reviewed what happened in the game to prepare himself for future opportunities. And prepare he did to the tune of converting on his next 36 save opportunities, setting a franchise mark. Soria sees the consecutive saves record as the highlight of his 2010 season.
Soria returned to his native Mexico after the season. He took three weeks off and now he’s back on his training program. Last offseason, he built his strength and endurance by working closely with Ty Hill (K.C.’s strength and conditioning coordinator) and Jeff Blum (the team’s physical therapist). The result was that Soria felt great throughout the season. He is once again looking to the pair for advice as he prepares for 2011.
When asked about his future in Kansas City, Soria told the media that he is happy to be a part of the Royals family and believes that he fits in with what the Royals want to do. He sees his career path as a closer, stating simply “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it”.
The Royals will announce the Les Milgram Player of the Year on Monday. We’ll post the press release and follow up with a conference call summary.