Archive for the ‘closer’ Tag

History of Joakim Soria: 1964 Topps   1 comment

History Of Joakim Soria 1964 Topps custom cardI’ll just throw it out there right away; I think I nailed this one. It’s odd that the look of certain years of cards are hard to pin down but I got 1964 Topps here. As always it is pretty much always about the picture. I wanted a good high quality head shot of Soria and to crop it tight. I found a nice picture with a bit of a scowl on his face. I know this is a very basic design but I still think it is one of the better re-creations that I have done. I might have to throw in a few Custom Card of the Day’s in the 1964 format since I like it so much and see if it translates well with other teams.

The design of 1964 is very simple and plain. The one distinct thing about it is that the players head breaks the border of the top of the picture. This helps give the card just enough life to keep it from being boring. In 1964 there were obviously no Royals cards so what I usually do is take a Dodgers card to get my color pallet. The Dodgers have been around forever and they have a similar color pallet as the Royals would have had.

Royals Report Card: Part 2   Leave a comment

Here is the second half of my 2011 Royals report card (aka the pitchers) If you missed Part 1 here is the link. I will reiterate that these are my options I have drawn from watching games and following the team from the outside. I have the same or less access to the team than anyone reading this.

Luke Hochevar – Grade C+

The Royals “Ace” progressed this year. He is still not pitching like a #1 guy, probably more like a 3-4 in the rotation guy. He was finally more consistent. He stayed healthy all year but the Royals still need more out of him.

Jeff Francis – Grade D+

He was coming off a major injury but the expectations were still higher than what he gave. He led the team with 16! losses and opponents hit .301 against him.

Bruce Chen – Grade B

He led the team in wins again and was a solid arm every fifth day. He isn’t going to impose the other team much on the mound but remained solid all year.

Sean O’Sullivan – Grade D-

O’Sullivan showed that he is likely a 5th starter at best. It appears he might just be another Kyle Davies; if that is possible. His 7.25 ERA was not major league worthy.

Kyle Davies – Grade F-

I know F- doesn’t exist but the Royals may have employed one of the worst pitchers of all-time. Luckily the Harim Davies days are officially over.

Vin Mazzaro – Grade F

His ERA is inflated from being thrown to the wolves in Cleveland one game but he still was inconsistent and unimpressive. You can’t shake the feeling that if he wasn’t “who we got for Dejesus” he would be gone and a non-factor.

Felipe Paulino – Grade B

His numbers weren’t great but a 4.11 ERA on this staff is actually pretty good. Considering he was a gift from the Rockies; he was great. He showed signs of being a solid starting pitcher and has a good shot at the rotation in 2012.

Danny Duffy – Grade C

Duffy’s 5.64 ERA was high for how he pitched. He had a standard rookie start but showed progression in many games. His curveball is great and when he learns how to pitch a little more he should be a front of the rotation guy.

Everett Teaford – Grade B-

Teaford had a very good rookie year. Because he is left handed he should be a Royal in the future. He pitched strong in 2/3 starts he made in September but really looks to be more a bullpen guy to me where he was very solid in 2011.

Luis Mendoza – A-

Fantastic in 2 big league starts and was AAA Omaha pitcher of the year. Short look in Kansas City but has a good shot at the rotation next year.

Nate Adcock – Grade C-

Long relief guy made a couple starts. Never impressed too much and wouldn’t have remained with the club if he wasn’t a rule 5 guy. He has a sinker good enough to get ground balls and be a Jamey Wright type of pitcher.

Joakim Soria – Grade C+

Despite horrible early season struggles he managed to put together an average year for a reliever, not great for a closer though. He ended up 27/35 saves/opportunities and with a 4.03 ERA. Those aren’t great numbers but indicate it may have been just a down season.

Aaron Crow – Grade C

Crow was the Royals All-Star in 2011. You would never know it by his second half performance. He had a great first half and was dominant. He lost a “baulk off” in Chicago and wasn’t the same pitcher after that. He should get a shot at the rotation next year but is where he belongs in my opinion.

Tim Collins – Grade C

Collins was the lefty specialist for much of the year despite not being very good against lefties. He had a 3.68 ERA and .211 batting average against but walked way, way too many. If he cuts down on the walks he could be a big part of the 2012 bullpen.

Jeremy Jeffress – Grade C-

Jeffress is a fireballer. He showed spots in KC of being dominant but ultimately walked 11 batters in 14 appearances. He will get a rotation shot next year but once again I think he is better suited to be a setup man getting groomed for a closer spot.

Jesse Chavez – Grade F

The fact that Chavez wasn’t released after 2010 angers me still. He isn’t effective and needs released.

Blake Wood – Grade B

Wood was surprisingly good in his 54 games. He was a rare guy out of the pen the Royals could count on. If the Royals got the same season out of him next year they should be happy.

Greg Holland – Grade A-

The most surprising Royals pitcher of 2011. A sub 1.00 WHIP and under 2.00 ERA over 46 games was fantastic. He has potential to be a centerpiece of the middle relief for the team next year.

Robinson Tejada – Grade F

Tejada had big expectations after showing real flashes the last couple seasons. He and Soria were the only locks for the bullpen coming into 2011 and Tejada only pitched 9 games for the team. The Royals wanted to deal him at the deadline for somebody but he diminished his value so bad nobody wanted him.

Kanekoa Teixeira – Grade C+

Just another middle relief guy the team parted with. His ERA was under 3.00 but opponents hit over .400 against him.

Louis Coleman – Grade A-

Coleman pitched great out of the bullpen all year. In 48 games he limited teams from getting a big inning and posted a sub 3.00 ERA. He showed great poise in his rookie season and should be a valued member of the bullpen in 2012.

Kelvin Herrera – Grade D+

Herrera didn’t have a fair shot to prove himself only pitching 2 innings but showed good stuff despite getting roughed up in his debut.

History of Joakim Soria: 1994 Topps   2 comments

History Of Joakim Soria 1994 Topps custom card1994 Topps is sort of a forgotten set that is actually not too bad. I have always wanted to incorporate the home plate shape into a card some how and this set sort of did it. The picture comes to a point at the bottom that makes it look a little like home plate.  I like the script font as well. The problem with script fonts is that they can be difficult to read. This font is no exception. It is not matched exact but thanks to fellow custom card-er Harvey Berkman, I was able to get pretty darn close. This font is Vladamir Script and is close enough if you are trying to re-create this set. The rest of the card is a lot of unnecessary flash; many gradients that don’t add dimension, they just add color.

Now to the picture. I have wanted to do this picture for a while. If you have been to a Royals game and got the pleasure to watch Joakim Soria enter a game you know why the picture is cool. Kauffman Stadium blasts “Welcome to the Jungle” by Guns N Roses and all the scoreboards around the stadium show flames. The crowd naturally gets into the moment and it creates a very cool environment not seen too often for a team consistently low in the standings.

The picture is not the best, normally the pictures I choose are a little cleaner than this one but it was all I could find. If you click on it you can see the pixelization but I had to use it anyway. The set fits well with the picture too. When I started the “History of Joakim Soria” project, this is the kind of card I had in mind.

36 Greatest Royals: Jeff Montgomery   Leave a comment

Royals Greats Jeff Montgomery custom cardJeff Montgomery was a constant for the Royals through the 1990s. Whatever problems the team had offensively or with starting pitching Monty was always at the back of the bullpen. He was a 3 time all-star with the Royals during his major league career. His greatest accomplishment would have to be his 304 career saves, a really huge number. To put it in perspective, Joakim Soria has accumulated a ton of saves but is still only half way to Jeff Montgomery’s number. His top save season came in 1993 when he co-led the league (with Duane Ward) with a co-Royals record (with Dan Quisenberry) 45 saves.

You can justify Montgomery’s status as one of the greatest Royals players all you want but he is one of the very first players for the team I ever endeared. This is a big reason he is getting this card. He and Mike MacFarlane were two of my favorites when I first found my blind dedication to the team. No matter which way you cut it, I think it is a given that Monty belongs in the top 36 Royals of all-time.

1983 Topps Royals: Aaron Crow and Joakim Soria   Leave a comment

1983 Topps Royals Aaron Crow1983 Topps Royals Joakim Soria

QUICK THOUGHTS: This Soria card has now been posted by me either 3 or 4 times so you may have seen it before. Aaron Crow is almost unrecognizable without a beard now. That is all.