Royals closer Joakim Soria named 2010 Bruce Rice Pitcher of the Year

soria_8314.jpgThe Royals have announced that right-handed pitcher Joakim Soria is the 2010 Bruce Rice Pitcher of the Year.  The award was voted on by the Kansas City Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA).

The 26-year-old Soria, who also won the award in 2008, went 1-2 with a career-high 43 saves in 46 opportunities in 2010.  In 66 appearances, he compiled a 1.78 ERA, striking out 71 and walking just 16 in 65.2 innings.  The two-time A.L. All-Star (2008 and 2010) finished second in the league in saves (Rafael Soriano-TB, 45) and just two back of the Royals single-season record held by Dan Quisenberry (1983) and Jeff Montgomery (1993).  Soria set a pair of Royals club marks in 2010, converting 36 saves in a row and posting 23.2 consecutive scoreless innings as a reliever.  Soria finished third in baseball in save percentage (93.5), behind the Padres’ Heath Bell (94.0) and the Rays’ Rafael Soriano (93.8).  The Monclova, Mexico, resident becomes the 10th Royals pitcher to be named the Bruce Rice Pitcher of the Year at least twice since the award’s inception in 1971.  Dan Quisenberry and Bret Saberhagen each earned the honor a team-high four times.

Yesterday, left-handed pitcher Bruce Chen was named the 2010 Joe Burke Special Achievement Award winner.  The Royals will announce the 2010 Les Milgram Player of the Year on Monday.

Check back later today as we post a summary of Joakim’s conference call.


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