Well, here we go. With a team that is hovering close to the .500 mark, and playing pretty good baseball to this point, there has been plenty to cheer about for Royals fans so far in 2009. But while the year is still young, it's not too early to panic that all-world closer Joakim Soria could miss several weeks with what is being called a "sore" right shoulder.
This could spell disaster for the Royals if the offense doesn't start scoring runs in bunches pretty soon. Of course, it remains to be seen just how long Soria will be out. For right now they're not putting him on the DL, but he certainly has caused some concern in the organization that has the club taking every precaution to keep his condition under wraps. That should tell us something.
Soria had an MRI a couple days ago and the results came back negative. That doesn't mean a lot since he's experiencing what teams like to call a "dead arm". That means we won't be seeing him on the hill for a little while.
There is just no way to tell when a pitchers arm will rebound from an issue like Soria's. Being a former pitcher who experienced arm troubles myself, I can tell you that Soria will miss longer than five days. There's simply no way they will allow him to pitch before that time. Guaranteed, and that's a good thing.
I'll explain it this way. There's a difference between pitching with a sore arm and pitching with an injury. Basically, you can pitch with a sore arm. You can work soreness out with some long toss, stretching, ice and a day of rest. Sore arms, while they do result in pain, and regardless of popular thinking, do not mean you're injured. Pitchers throw with sore arms every day. Therefore, Soria has more than a "sore" arm. This has been going on for at least a week now.
That means Ron Mahay, Juan Cruz and Kyle "Gas Can" Farnsworth are the likely closers for at least a couple of weeks. Cruz and Mahay I can live with, but God forbid Farnsworth steps on the mound in a close game in the ninth. I'm getting an ulcer thinking about it right now.
I pray to DeJesus that the offense carries us through.