The Royals announced Friday that setup man Joakim Soria has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with a strained left oblique. The move is retroactive to Aug. 16, so Soria can be activated on the 26th of this month, but oblique injuries often require upwards of a month to fully heal. Right-hander Kevin McCarthy is up from Omaha to take Soria’s roster spot.
The loss of Soria is a notable one for a Royals club that has slipped to 5.5 games back in the AL Central recently but is still just a half game out of the race for the second American League Wild Card spot. Soria has tossed 50 innings with a 3.96 ERA this season, but that mark is massively skewed by a four-run meltdown in his most recent outing — an appearance that lasted just one-third of an inning and sent his 3.26 ERA skyrocketing.
Soria’s secondary marks are all quite good. In fact, when looking at his K/9 (10.6), BB/9 (2.9), HR/9 (0.18) and ground-ball rate (55.2 percent), there’s a case to be made that Soria is in the midst of one of his most dominant seasons as a Major Leaguer. He’s currently sporting a 2.06 FIP, a 2.91 xFIP and a 2.96 SIERA, all of which suggests that his ERA isn’t exactly representative of the overall quality of his work in 2017.
With Soria on the shelf, trade deadline pickups Brandon Maurer and Ryan Buchter could each see their roles increase for the time being. Neither has fared especially well in his new environs, but both relievers have the ability to miss bats in bunches and could help bridge the gap to closer Kelvin Herrera.