Archive for the ‘Joakim Soria’ Tag

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: 1987 Topps   2 comments

History Of Joakim Soria 1987 ToppsI think that 1987 Topps has a lot of fanfare. I’m not really sure but I think a lot of people like it. It is very distinctive with it’s wood border and nice clean design. I think I am in the minority saying that I don’t like this set. I think it looks cheap and generic. It is iconic for the Bonds rookie and the classic Bo Jackson card but overall I think it is a miss by Topps.

For the wood border I had no choice but to use a nice clean jpg file and put my graphics around it as I did with 1990 Topps and will be doing with 1968 Topps when I get to it. The font on this card is sloppy. Both mine and the real one. The font I used is Marker Felt and it is close; I don’t think it is right but it is very close. On the bright side this was a very easy card to re-create. It is simple but doesn’t really impress me very much.

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.

History of Joakim Soria: 2000 Topps   1 comment

History Of Joakim Soria 2000 Topps custom card2000 Topps isn’t a bad looking set. It isn’t a classic or anything but it is simple and non-offensive. The transparency boxes at the bottom do little but take up space but they had a nice subtle color scheme to them and added just enough flair to the cards to keep them from getting boring. This set is in the middle of several very forgettable sets for Topps. The sets weren’t necessarily bad they just kind of washed in my mind. I you asked me what 2000 Topps looked like I couldn’t place it right away.

The gold foil wasn’t overkill and the cards had both the position and the team logo. Interestingly enough they decided not to spell out the team’s name even though they had lots of room. They even had enough room for the word “Topps” to appear twice on each card’s face. Either way 2000 Topps is a solid middle of the road design.

History of Joakim Soria: 1993 Topps   Leave a comment

History Of Joakim Soria 1993 Topps custom card1993 Topps is nothing new to this site. I did a Mike Stanton/Carlos Gonzalez post with 1993 Topps earlier. Usually the History of Joakim Soria comes first but for some reason this card never got posted. There isn’t a lot to say about 1993 Topps, it is a very basic design but is still not bad. I liked this spring training picture of Soria so I decided to use it with this template. This set will always bring back Marlins/Rockies memories for me because it was their first year.

History of Joakim Soria: 1989 Topps   Leave a comment

History Of Joakim Soria 1989 Topps custom card1989 Topps is not a bad looking set. It is just cheapened by the mass overproduction of baseball cards during that period. No card in the 1989 Topps set is really worth anything. Even the top names like Cal Ripken, George Brett and Nolan Ryan fetch almost no value because there are so many of this set out there.

Something I often say about most cards produced from 1988 through 1992 is that they aren’t even worth the value of the paper they are printed on. Obviously this is an exaggeration but it gets the point across about these cards. 1989 Topps is not a bad looking set though. I like the simple “jersey” style of the team name and how the players name is incorporated. This picture of Joakim Soria is a typical fan shot. From above where the seats are but it looks nice. It is a strange picture but I thought it fit the card well. Overall I think this is a nice refreshing set to see new names in, I might have to do a few more Royals cards from this year because they would look pretty nifty.

History of Joakim Soria: 1996 Topps   1 comment

History Of Joakim Soria 1996 Topps custom card1996 Topps was an interesting year. A nice simple card design with a standard white border but with a couple subtle twists. Topps had done the inset picture on the front of the card a couple times before but what they decided to do was strange in 1996. The echoed the exact same picture in the name bar. It was a colored picture and was in a box that had a gradient with the name. The inset picture was of course a face closeup but I don’t really know that it added much to the card design.

Other than than a really standard year. Square picture, no strange curves or lines other than the name/picture box. Just a team logo in the corner of the card, it isn’t spelled out and the players position isn’t even on the front of the card. It was a bit difficult to re-create. Getting the gradient over the inset picture proved challenging but no too bad. It really isn’t all that interesting of year for Topps. I remember buying an absolute crap-load of the packs though.

Once again I think Goose Joak did a better re-creation than me. He did a Brad Hawpe card for 1996 Topps that he nailed.

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.

History of Joakim Soira: 1955 Topps   1 comment

History Of Joakim Soria 1955 Topps custom card1955 Topps is an interesting set. The cards are all sideways, one of very few sets ever to do that. The card also features two pictures and a signature. The one picture is typically a close up and the second is a full body shot. Most of the full body pictures were the typical baseball card poses, a pitcher having just thrown, a batter in his backswing, etc. They are all poses of some sort. The solid color background is a gradient and were usually red, green or yellow. The pictures on the card were usually painted looking. I don’t think I achieved the “painted” look and I think that is the most difficult part of re-creating these early cards.

History of Joakim Soria: 1971 Topps   4 comments

History Of Joakim Soria 1971 Topps custom card1971 Topps is an amazing set. I have consistently called it my favorite set design of all time. That still holds up today. It was really the first year Topps used action shots on their cards and they had some great action shots too. This particular card is from the very first set I ever did as custom cards. I did a set that year and didn’t do anything with it. I never had a site to post it on so it just got buried on my hard drive. I should post some of the cards from this set because many of the players are long, long gone. I can’t remember the exact time frame but I believe it was right around the time the Royals traded Mark Teahan which would put it at the end of the 2009 season I think. It would be roughly a year and a half before I would dig the set out and I haven’t changed a thing on them since I made them. I recently added the signature on top of Soria’s card to be true to the original design but the picture and design was done a couple years ago. This Soria is likely one of the first 5 cards I ever made.