Royals

Royals reliever Joakim Soria could return from disabled list on Monday

Royals Kelvin Herrera probably dealing with 'lack of confidence'

Royals manager Ned Yost talked about the relievers who have stepped up in the midst of Kelvin Herrera's struggles after an 8-5 loss to the Twins at Kauffman Stadium on Friday, Sept. 8, 2017.
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Royals manager Ned Yost talked about the relievers who have stepped up in the midst of Kelvin Herrera's struggles after an 8-5 loss to the Twins at Kauffman Stadium on Friday, Sept. 8, 2017.

Royals manager Ned Yost said Joakim Soria could be activated as soon as Monday, offering another arm for a committee of relievers that could handle the closer role.

Soria has been on the disabled list since Aug. 18 because of an oblique strain. The injury surfaced after he allowed four earned runs in a disastrous 10-8 loss to the Oakland A’s on Aug. 15.

Soria has posted a 3.96 ERA in 50 innings this season, striking out 59 while blowing seven saves. His performance dipped in late July and early August. Yet the Royals’ bullpen could use the depth after closer Kelvin Herrera has battled ineffectiveness and injury. Yost said on Friday that he would use Brandon Maurer, Scott Alexander and Mike Minor in the closer’s spot after officially removing Herrera from that role. In time, Soria could join the group, too.

“We’re hoping to be able to activate him on Monday,” Yost said of Soria. “He’ll be in that (closer) mix. He’s got to get his feet back on the ground first, obviously.”

The Royals’ bullpen has a 7.32 ERA in September, the second worst in the majors, after logging a 5.36 ERA in August.

Soria is finishing out the second season of a three-year, $25 million deal. He is owed $9 million in 2018. Herrera, meanwhile, was taken out of the closer role on Friday afternoon. He allowed two earned runs while recording one out in the eighth inning of an 8-5 loss to the Twins later in the evening. Herrera, who has posted a 4.56 ERA in 56 appearances this season, is under club control for one more season of salary arbitration. He is making $5.325 million this season.

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