Joakim Soria willing and able to close for White Sox

SHARE Joakim Soria willing and able to close for White Sox
821069080_70209659.jpg

Joakim Soria #48 of the Kansas City Royals pitches against the White Sox during the game at Kauffman Stadium on July 22, 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Getty Images)

GLENDALE, Ariz. — New White Sox reliever Joakim Soria hasn’t been told he’ll be the White Sox closer, but there is a pretty good chance the 33-year year old two-time All-Star with 204 career saves will handle that role during his first year on the South Side.

If so, he’s ready to roll.

“It’s something I’ve done a good part of my career,” Soria said before Sox pitchers and catchers took the field on the first day of spring training Wednesday at Camelback Ranch. “I know how to do it, what it takes and if they decide to give me that spot I will be happy to accept that.”

This is Soria’s 12th spring training, but he’s still learning on the job, he said, and ready to make adjustments if and when necessary.

“Obviously, in this game you have to adjust every single time you go out there,” he said. “There is a lot of information about players, so you have to adjust.

“I always rely on the fastball. I consider that my first pitch because I can command it very well, but this is a game of adjustments and if you are old enough to say you are a veteran you have to make adjustments.”

Soria’s first impressions of the vibe and chemistry in the clubhouse are good. While the Sox are not expected to contend in the second year of their rebuild, Soria is already chiming in with the message that the Sox can surprise.

This is spring training, when hope springs eternal in 30 camps, so why not?

“A lot of people say that [we won’t win] but this is baseball,” Soria said. “Baseball has a lot of surprises. You’ve seen through the years teams that are rebuilding and they have postseasons. I wouldn’t be surprised if we ended up winning the division. Baseball is a different animal and you never know if this is going to be the year, if everybody has the best year of their career, we can go on a good run.”

The Sox acquired Soria left-handed pitcher Luis Avilán and cash considerations in a three-team exchange that cost the Sox minor-league infielder Jake Peter this offseason.

Soria went 4-3 with a 3.70 ERA, 64 strikeouts and 20 holds in 59 appearances with the Royals in 2017. He is 28-31 lifetime with a 2.86 ERA over 10 major-league seasons with Kansas City (2007-11, ’16-17), Texas (2013-14), Detroit (2014-15) and Pittsburgh (2015). Among active pitchers, he is tied for sixth in saves and ranks eighth in save percentage (82.9, 204-246).


The Latest
He has allowed two runs or fewer in seven consecutive starts and has pitched at least six innings in five consecutive starts — the longest stretch by a Cub since Yu Darvish (seven) from July 31 to Sept. 4, 2020.
SNEED EXCLUSIVE: Watch for more than 500 items of sports memorabilia collected by Da Coach and culled from the walls of his shuttered namesake Gold Coast restaurant to go up for auction soon!
Dominga Flores, 55, was fatally struck at 31st and Kedzie Avenue while on her way to work early Thursday.
Abortion rights have become the focus of the race for court seats from two suburban Chicago districts.
The policy comes just in time for Edwina Mitchell, a food protection employee for the city’s Department of Public Health. “It means everything. I already feel a little stress-free,” said the mother of a 4-year-old and who is due to give birth to her second child in January.