Brewers’ Soria worried about winning
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Joakim Soria has been traded enough times to understand there are always significant adjustments with a new team, like no longer being a closer now that he has joined the contending Milwaukee Brewers.
For a third time in his 11-year big league career, the reliever has moved to a team in the middle of the playoff chase near the trade deadline. This time, he’ll be part of the NL Central race after the Chicago White Sox traded him to Milwaukee.
“It gets easier. It’s different now, my kids are a little bit grown up now. They understand a little bit more,” Soria said Friday from the visiting dugout at the Giants’ AT&T Park.
The White Sox were at the end of a road trip playing the Angels in Anaheim, so Soria needed a new shirt and some underwear to get through his extended West Coast stay. A quick shopping trip was in order in downtown San Francisco near the team hotel Thursday night before he settled in to watch his new team on TV.
“It’s real life,” Soria said.
Manager Craig Counsell knows Soria won’t have any trouble adjusting on the fly in a new place.
“The fact that he’s been through these trades before, he probably could have pushed play on what I was going to talk about,” Counsell said. “He knows what he’s coming into and I respect that he knows what he’s coming into. He’s a veteran reliever. He’s played on a number of teams. He’s been traded at this time of the season. He knows what’s going on.”
Counsell made it clear Soria will be a key member of the bullpen regardless of the inning or situation.
They had a short chat before Friday night’s game against San Francisco.
“He’s going to get big outs for us for sure and we’re going to count on him for big outs,” Counsell said. “I think we’re at a place bullpen-wise where we’ve created a lot of depth and that means we should have good choices every single night.”
Soria is eager to do anything for the Brewers, who already have a closer in Corey Knebel. Counsell said he would like to get Knebel more innings and that might mean not always in the ninth.
“When you start a season and your team is rebuilding and you’re expecting not a good season for the team out of spring training, when you get traded to a contending team, it feels good, it feels that you’ve been wanted,” Soria said.
The 34-year-old right-hander from Mexico was 0-3 with a 2.56 ERA and 16 saves in 40 relief appearances with the rebuilding White Sox this season. He had 49 strikeouts in 38 2/3 innings as opponents batted just .230. Over his last 25 outings, Soria posted a 0.74 ERA and held opponents to a .161 batting average with 32 strikeouts in 24 1/3 innings.
“I just want to win the championship,” Soria said. “When you come to a new team, you have to adjust to the roles.”
Brewers get 3B Mike Moustakas from Royals
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The Milwaukee Brewers have acquired third baseman Mike Moustakas from the Kansas City Royals, making their second deal in as many days as the club makes a push for its first playoff appearance since 2011.
The Brewers sent outfielder Brett Phillips and pitcher Jorge Lopez late Friday night to the Royals, who are in last place in the AL Central.
Milwaukee announced the trade late Friday night, when they beat San Francisco Giants on the road 3-1. Reliever Joakim Soria, who was acquired Thursday from the Chicago White Sox, made his Brewers debut by pitching a scoreless seventh inning.
The left-handed hitting Moustakas was hitting .249 with 20 homers and 62 RBIs for the Royals. His arrival could mean that the Brewers will shift their current third baseman, Travis Shaw, to second base.