Stat of the Day: Why Rafael Soriano Is Not A Good Gamble To Take

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Did You Know:
Among pitchers with at least 20 save opportunities in 2014, Rafael Soriano was tied for the league lead in blow saves with 7 (Luke Gregerson, Jonathan Broxton and Brad Ziegler were all credited with 8, though they were more in setup roles).

Soriano is also tied for second in most blown saves over the past two seasons with 13:

1. Addison Reed – 14
2t. Rafael Soriano – 13
2t. Luke Gregerson – 13
2t. Junichi Tazawa – 13

No other pitcher has been credited with more than 11 blown saves.

Thoughts:
Maybe the idea of Soriano still sitting without a job shouldn’t be a surprising one. Maybe the fact that teams reportedly still in the market for a closer, like the Milwaukee Brewers and Toronto Blue Jays, are justified to be looking at alternatives (like a potential trade for Jonathan Papelbon).

Soriano has also seen his fastball velocity dip in recent seasons, with an average fastball of 91.5 mph. He also is primarily a flyball pitcher, at 47.3% for his career (49.1% in 2014), which simply doesn’t play well in many locations (especially the two where he could be a potential fit).

The bottom line is that he will likely find a job, but it may not be as a closer. Those looking for a flier drafting before he finds a landing spot would do better elsewhere.  Even if he is handed a job, there’s no guarantee he keeps it.

Source – Fangraphs

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