Per the beat reporters, Joakim Soria starts his rehab assignment tonight. He will pitch one inning for AA Frisco this evening.
Soria, signed as a free agent this offseason, was one of the best relievers in baseball for the Kansas City Royals before undergoing Tommy John surgery in April 2012. Soria was expected to start a rehab assignment last month, but had a setback due to a strained pectoral muscle.
Pitchers can spend up to 30 days on a rehab assignment, but I do not anticipate Soria will spend that long on this rehab assignment. Depending on the progress he makes and the state of the Rangers' bullpen, Soria could be in Texas and pitching in the majors again in the early part of July.
It will be interesting to see how his addition impacts how Ron Washington utilizes the bullpen. The Rangers' preferred setup right now is Robbie Ross in the 7th, Tanner Scheppers in the 8th, and Joe Nathan in the 9th, with Jason Frasor and Neal Cotts in middle relief roles. The pre-injury version of Soria would be better than everyone else in the bullpen, but as he works his way back, he will likely be in a middle relief role, at least initially.