Monday, February 02, 2004

Soriano Update 

The M's blogosphere is filled with conjecture on when Rafael Soriano will become a dominant pitcher in the rotation. Much of the discussion "blames" M's management for not giving him a rotation spot already, and letting him waste away in the bullpen. But maybe, just maybe, the M's know what they are doing.

I ran across this MLB.com article that interviewed Soriano on the eve of him being the starter for the Dominican Republic in the opening game of the 2004 Caribbean Series against Mexico. This after a Winter League performance where he set a league record allowing 2 earned runs in 42+ innings for a sparkling ERA of 0.21.

The article goes on to speculate that although he has found success as a starter, the M's pitching depth looks to keep him as a reliever in 2004. And that is fine with Soriano.

"I'll do whatever the team wants me to do," Soriano said. "I like pitching, so as long as I can pitch, I'll be happy. Whatever role I have, in the bullpen or starting, I have to be ready. I've shown what I can do, so it's not my decision. I don't know what they'll do in Seattle."

When asked what role he prefers, he didn't hesitate to answer.

"I like being a relief pitcher," Soriano said. "You only have to pitch a few innings, so I think it's easier."

Easier? Don't know if that's what I want my stud pitchers to be looking for, but I'm willing to let this slide.

As it turned out, Soriano got no-decision, giving up 2 runs on 2 hits with 5 K's in 5+ innings in a 6-5 Dominican win.

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