Joakim Soria has had more than his fair share of success on a big-league mound.
As the Kansas City Royals closer, Soria was a two-time all-star and recorded more than 40 saves twice over the course of his career.
Then in spring training in 2012, Soria left a game with a sore elbow and hasn't pitched in the bigs since after undergoing Tommy John surgery to repair his elbow ligament, meaning he hasn't pitched since the 2011 season. His career ERA is 2.40 in 315 1/3 innings pitched with 160 career saves.
So it's understandable why the Rangers took a chance on Soria and signed him over the winter knowing he wouldn't be ready for the start of the season. And even though his return has been delayed more than the Rangers thought it would be, there's no question his return will be welcomed.
If Soria can give the Rangers solid work, he'll fill a big role in the bullpen where trusted arms are limited and have been severely overworked through the first half of the season as Tanner Scheppers, Joe Nathan and Robbie Ross are all being worked heavily while Neal Cotts has pitched a ton since joining the team last month.
Soria will take the final step in his rehab this week when he's scheduled to throw on back-to-back days in Frisco Wednesday and Thursday, often the final step for a relief pitcher on a rehab assignment.
If all goes well, he could join the Rangers for their weekend series against the Houston Astros.