Soriano turns to an old friend for help


It’s no secret that Rafael Soriano‘s first month in pinstripes has been … um … underwhelming, but the right-hander is trying to get himself back on track. As Dan Barbarisi of The Wall Street Journal writes, Soriano recently sought out the help of his best friend, his former co-closer in Atlanta Mike Gonzalez. After skipping out on reporters a few weeks ago, the first person Rafi called was Gonzalez, who basically told him if acts like Mariano Rivera, and he’ll be fine. The two had the dinner over the weekend in Baltimore to further talk about Soriano’s struggles.

“I feel fine, I feel comfortable with the team and everything,” said The Eighth Inning Guy™. “I just had a bad day…a bad month.” As frustrating as it’s been, Joe explained yesterday why we shouldn’t rush to call Soriano a failure just yet. His talent is obvious, as is the impact he could have on team’s chances of winning.

Categories : Asides


  1. zs190 says:

    I’m not sure Mike Gonzalez is the right person to talk to considering how bad Gonzalez is pitching. He’s been bumped from LOOGY status by Clay Rapada of all people, I think.

  2. JobaWockeeZ says:

    9 ER so far this April. 12 all of last year. Gee who could have thought a relief pitcher would have a drastic performance drop like that.

    Can we get Levine to pay off his contract with his money?

    • radnom says:

      Gee who could have thought a relief pitcher would have a drastic performance drop like that.

      Good point. But who would have thought that Swisher would have no homeruns this year, Posada and Gardner would both hit under .150 and Colon would win the Cy Young?

      Oh wait, its only April? My bad.

      • Even if it is only April, the chances of Soriano justifying a $12 million investment as a set-up guy are slim.

        • Gonzo says:

          Some people believe that even if he had the same year as last year, it didn’t justify the amount of money spent. Of course, you could say teh same for Mo. I think that’s blasphemy around these parts though.

        • radnom says:

          Even if it is only April, the chances of Soriano justifying a $12 million investment as a set-up guy are slim.

          In other words, you didn’t like the signing. Fair. But people are using his slow start to justify that position, which is misguided.

        • Mister Delaware says:

          Semi-depends. His ERA and cummulative stats almost certainly won’t look $12MM awesome but if he only flubs 2 more games from here on out, he’ll be a pretty valuable asset.

        • MikeD says:

          I agree, although that’s a different question. Paying him $12 million a year to set up is nonsense, yet he’s here, so now I’m judging him on how he can help the Yankees.

  3. Tampa Yankee says:

    who basically told him if acts like Mariano Rivera, and he’ll be fine.

    If that’s all it takes, someone go tell Jeter to act like Tulo!

    In all seriousness, I fully expect Soriano to turn it around.

  4. vin says:

    “Soriano turns to an old friend for help”

    Steroids? I knew it.

    Seriously, though, few sports jobs are more volatile than relief pitching. King of the hill one day, bottom of the heap the next. The good thing is Soriano’s velocity seems to have returned.

  5. Billy Mumphrey says:

    Soriano will eventually turn it around but he cannot continue to pitch in the 8th inning until he does. Robertson has now allowed a run all season and should be in the 8th. I just hope Joe doesn’t keep trotting Soriano out there. He’s already blown one CC gem, I fear another one will come tonight.

  6. MikeD says:

    I try never to overreact to any reliever stuggling, because they all do, even the single inhabitant of Mo-class relievers, Mariano himself, will hit a rough patch. When healthy, Soriano has been a quality reliever, and he has been healthy, and his velocity has been moving up. I expect he’ll be solid for the rest of the year, especially as the weather warms.

    • Steve H says:

      I agree, but the whole weather aspect concerns me. If he really does struggle pitching in the cold weather, what good is he in Ocotber in New York? The weather maybe (hopefully) was just more excuse than it was a true concern.

      • LI Kevin says:

        Yanks will just have to play Texas, The Rays and Padres and win all the road games. No prob.

      • MikeD says:

        I’m not saying it’s just the weather. It’s probably another piece not helping him during his struggles. He’s never really pitched consistently in this type of weather, which really has been unusually bad. Seattle, Atlanta and Tampa are not New York. He didn’t pitch many innings in Spring Training, and then he came right into NY and the bad weather, so I’m figuring the more innings he pitches and the warmer the weather, he should continue to improve.

        If that is the case, I’m hoping he’ll be in top form in October, regardless of the cooler weather.


    I no Soriano blew some games for us this year so far but there have been many more games where JO – SO – MO have been down right filthy! Some people say you don’t pay a set up man closer money, Well I say to that BS, you put the best product on the field to give you the best chance to win. If that means giving a set up man closer money then so be it, you do it! I guarantee that when the season is over the Yankees will have one of the best bullpens in baseball!

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