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Royals closer Joakim Soria has damaged elbow ligament

Mar 19, 2012, 5:44 PM EDT

Joakim Soria Reuters

Joakim Soria‘s fears were justified, as an MRI exam on his injured elbow revealed ulnar collateral ligament damage.

No word yet on the extent of the damage, but torn UCLs are what lead to Tommy John surgeries and 12-month recoveries.

Soria has actually already had Tommy John surgery, way back in 2003 when he was a teenager in rookie-ball. His big-league debut came four years later and since then he’s been one of the truly elite relievers in all of baseball, throwing 315 innings with a 2.40 ERA and fantastic 341/87 K/BB ratio.

And now just days after losing 22-year-old catcher Salvador Perez for 3-4 months following knee surgery the Royals may be without their best pitcher and potential top trade asset. Soria makes $6 million this season and the Royals have $8 million and $8.75 million team options for 2013 and 2014.

Jonathan Broxton would be the obvious choice to fill in for Soria as closer, assuming of course that he’s healthy after missing most of last season with elbow problems of his own.

  1. randygnyc - Mar 19, 2012 at 6:03 PM

    He knew it. These guys know their bodies. He said he was scared. Now, it’s a long road back. Hard work, and we’ll see him back mid 2013.

    • kcfanatic - Mar 19, 2012 at 6:56 PM

      I don’t think so. I think he may be done. He has always been scared of being hurt. After his shoulder issue a couple years ago, he all but refused to go out and throw more than 1 inning per game. Royals should have traded him then.

  2. The Baseball Idiot - Mar 19, 2012 at 7:20 PM

    It’s no problem. All former Braves have Dayton Moore on speed dial. He’s probably already drooling over which one he get this year.

  3. firstandonlywarning - Mar 19, 2012 at 10:18 PM

    Why is Broxton the obvious choice?

    Broxton signed a 1-year and and has shown lil since 09 while the Royals know Holland and he was excellent last season.

    • - Mar 20, 2012 at 9:26 AM

      He’s not, I thought Holland was the obvious choice for replacement. I was hoping Holland would be the closer even if Soria were healthy.

      This injury isn’t that much of a surprise. More of a confirmationa of what many fans had thought for a while.

      And for once, the Royals have enough depth they can ignore all the former Braves.

  4. uyf1950 - Mar 20, 2012 at 5:06 AM

    My guess is the Royals won’t exercise the 2013 and 2014 team options they hold on him that total close to $17MM.

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