Rafael Soriano (born December 19, 1979 in San José de Ocoa, Dominican Republic) is a Major League Baseball relief pitcher for the Tampa Bay Rays. He made his Major League debut with the Seattle Mariners on May 5, 2002. He bats and throws right-handed. Soriano throws a moving fastball in the mid to upper 90′s, which has been known to reach triple digits, along with a slider and scarcely used changeup.
He was originally signed as an outfielder before being converted to a pitcher. After an effective 2003 season, Soriano suffered a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, and underwent Tommy John surgery on August 17, 2004. He would return to the Majors on September 10, 2005. Soriano suffered a concussion on August 29, 2006, after being struck behind the ear by a line drive hit from Angel’s slugger Vladimir Guerrero. He was released from the hospital the following afternoon.
Soriano was traded to the Atlanta Braves from the Seattle Mariners on December 7, 2006, in exchange for left-handed pitcher Horacio Ramírez. In an offseason article, ESPN explained why they believed that Soriano was a significantly better player than Ramirez. Soriano had a mixed bag of success and disappointment in his first season in Atlanta, primarily serving as the setup man to closer Bob Wickman. Soriano became the Braves closer after Bob Wickman was designated for assignment in August. He earned his first save since May 10 on August 30.
Soriano was suspended for four games on September 20 after hitting Dan Uggla with a pitch. The suspension was reduced to two games after appeal. He finished his first season as a Brave with a 3-3 record and 3.00 ERA. Soriano signed a two-year contract with the Braves worth $9 million USD on January 24, 2008.
After surprising the Braves and accepting arbitration, Soriano was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays on December 10, 2009 for Jesse Chavez.
Soriano won the DHL Delivery Man Award for May 2010. He was named to the 2010 Major League Baseball All-Star Game to replace an injured Mariano Rivera.
[Wikipedia - Rafael Soriano]