Originally written on Baseball Prospectus  |  Last updated 10/29/14
Rangers_vs_royals_66ba
When is losing your closer—not long ago considered one of the best closers in the league—not a big deal? What if you have a possible replacement on your roster whose rookie season was historically good? Bob Dutton, the Royals beat writer for The Kansas City Star, reported on Friday that Joakim Soria had decided to undergo Tommy John surgery and would miss the entire 2012 season. Soria previously needed a UCL replacement procedure in 2003 while in the low minors with the Dodgers, three years before the Royals plucked him out of the Padres’ farm system in the Rule 5 draft.  For a team expected to take a significant step toward contention, if not actually enter the wild-card race, this season, the loss of its bullpen anchor could have been difficult to overcome. Though Soria took his lumps in 2011, logging a career-worst 4.03 ERA and 3.53 FIP, he is 27 years old and just a year removed from a terrific 2010 campaign during which he recorded 43 saves in 46 tries and posted a 1.78 ERA...
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