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Joakim Soria to undergo Tommy John surgery

By Matt Snyder | Baseball Writer
Royals closer Joakim Soria will miss all of the 2012 season, as he's elected to have Tommy John surgery in Los Angeles on April 3, the Royals announced Friday. Soria sought three opinions before deciding to have Dr. Lewis Yocum perform the procedure on his torn ulnar-collateral ligament just before the '12 season starts for his teammates.

Given that the recovery time for a Tommy John surgery is generally 12-18 months, several weeks and/or months into the 2013 season are in jeopardy as well.

Soria, 27, was one of baseball's best closers from 2008-10, but he had a down year last season. He closed 28 games in 35 chances with a 4.03 ERA, 1.28 WHIP and 60 strikeouts in 60 1/3 innings. He looked like a good bounce-back candidate heading into this season. Instead, he'll have to hope for a good second half in 2013 before he hits free agency at the conclusion of that season.

This certainly hurts the Royals a bit, but they are actually equipped to handle it. Jonathan Broxton is a two-time All-Star closer and he signed with the Royals in the offseason. Aaron Crow was an All-Star setup man last season and Greg Holland (1.80 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 74 K in 60 IP last season) is one of the more underrated relievers in baseball.

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