Those who know Joakim Soria will tell you that he was among the best closers in Detroit. But that is now history. In fact, Soria will now be playing in a different uniform. This is because the pitcher was transferred to Pittsburgh Pirates last Friday.
“It’s a different league, but the same baseball,” he said. “Go out, have fun, and enjoy this time, with a team in the race.”
Friday’s deal was Soria’s second in a row. When the right hander came to Pirates, he realized that the team already has a reliable closer, Mark Melancon. That got him thinking that he was getting his old position back.
“If that’s the case … the eighth and ninth innings are very similar, and the only thing that matters to me is helping this team win,” said the soft-spoken 31-year-old native of Mexico. “I’ll try to help them as much as I can, whatever they want me to do. They brought me here to help this team win the championship, and that’s where my mind is at.”
Soria did not have any ‘honey moon’ after coming to Pirates. He started playing on the same day against the Reds. It is actually on the same day that he realized that the seventh inning can also get ugly. Things happened really first and soon he found himself surrounded by full bases.
“Like I said before, it’s never easy,” said Soria, who was working earlier than the eighth inning for only the 21st time in 416 career appearances.
Pittsburgh GM Neal Huntington got Soria after parting ways with JaCoby Jones. After all, there was no way he would get the best player while giving out a rookie.
“We hated to give him up,” Huntington said of Jones, “but you have to pay with quality if you want to get quality.” “This is a very good back-end-of-the-game pitcher,” said Hurdle, who reaffirmed that Melancon is his closer but added having “complete confidence, if the opportunity comes, to use Soria to close.”