Fantasy Baseball: Add Tigers Closer Joakim Soria

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There isn’t a more erratic position in fantasy baseball or perhaps all fantasy sports than relief pitcher.

Unless an owner invests a draft pick in Craig Kimbrel or Aroldis Chapman, all the turnover at the position can make it very hard to predict which closers will be the best from year-to-year.

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The turnover, however, does mean that relief pitchers will move into closer roles and be available on the waiver wire.

Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Joakim Soria is the perfect example.

Soria has moved into the closer role for Detroit due to Joe Nathan‘s flexor strain. Nathan’s injury may actually be a blessing in disguise for fantasy owners because Soria was already a better fantasy option and will now also get saves.

Soria has experience closing games from his days in Kansas City and Texas. In his seven-year career, Soria has recorded 178 saves with a 2.58 ERA and 1.056 WHIP. Last season before the trade to Detroit, he was having one of his best seasons with 17 saves, 2.70 ERA and 0.870 WHIP.

The 30-year-old pitcher also posted healthy strikeout numbers with Texas in 2014 with 11.3 K/9 and 10.50 K/BB.

For now, Soria is only expected to close games until Nathan returns. The flexor strain in Nathan’s elbow is Grade 1 according to MLB.com, which is the least severe. He could return within a few weeks, but nothing is for certain.

Therefore, Soria is a must-add for any fantasy owner needing help at relief pitcher. On this good Tigers team, he should receive plenty of save opportunities. If he can produce close to his 2014 numbers, he provides great value for a free agency acquisition.

Even if Nathan returns in a few weeks, Soria is worth the add. Best case scenario, Nathan’s absence is long-term or Soria pitches so well, he remains the Tigers closer for the entire 2015 season.

Next: Detroit Tigers: Offense steam rolls Indians, 8-4

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