Re: Soriano faults Yankee offense, comment sends him to DL
posted at 5/17/2011 7:21 PM EDT
Soriano, who led the American League in saves last year with 45 as the Rays closer, has never seemed to adapt to his role as a set-up man. He has a 1-1 record, one save and 5.40 ERA in 16 games. Opponents are batting a healthy .268 against him, and his strikeout-to walk-ratio has been poor (10Ks/11 BBs in 15 IP).
"He's thrown the ball really well for us at times, and he's struggled at times," Girardi said. "Unfortunately, he hasn't felt good lately. We just need to get him healthy and get him doing what he's capable of doing."
Cashman's objections to the signing of Soriano, who was given a three-year, $35 million contract with opt-out clauses after each of his first two seasons, a deal negotiated by team president Randy Levine, centered around paying closer-type money for a set-up man. (Rivera signed new a two-year, $30 million deal this winter.)
But there were also whispers that Soriano was a difficult character in the clubhouse who had had run-ins with former managers Joe Maddon of the Rays and Bobby Cox of the Atlanta Braves. And so far, Soriano's Yankee tenure has been rocky, marred by his decision to bolt the clubhouse after blowing a game for CC Sabathia on April 5 in the fifth game of the season.
Monday night, after the Yankees had lost their sixth straight game, Soriano was asked if it was difficult to watch his team struggling and not be able to help.
"No," he said. "To me, you know, I don't think the bullpen is the problem right now. I think it is the hitters. In this situation, we losing by two or three runs, I don't think I'd be in these games anyway."
Girardi seemed miffed Tuesday when asked about his reaction to Soriano's statement.
"My thought is we win as a team and we lose as a team," he said. "And everyone on this club can always do a little bit more, and that's the bottom line. You can take that for what it's worth."
But when he was asked if Soriano's clubhouse personality is living up to his reputation, Girardi defended the 31-year-old right-hander.
"I think what you see is that he's experienced frustration, like a lot of our other players," Girardi said. "He doesn't like to be frustrated. He doesn't like to lose. Those are things that I've learned about him."
And when asked if he felt a talk with Soriano was in order, Girardi shut down the conversation.
"What happens between the players and me is gonna stay here," he said. "It's not gonna be written on a piece of paper or talked about on a radio show. Not from my mouth."