Mike Soroka has only pitched in three games since 2019 after suffering back-to-back season-ending Achilles injuries. Despite bursting onto the scene in Atlanta in 2019 when he finished second in NL Rookie of the Year voting and sixth in the Cy Young, Braves Country hasn’t seen him in what feels like a lifetime.
At the time of this writing, the team currently sits 6.0 games back of the Mets in the division with a record of 33-27, and the Braves’ pitching staff is a large reason for the ten-game winning streak. Max Fried and Kyle Wright are working themselves into the Cy Young conversation, Spencer Strider has completely exceeded expectations, and that’s not even mentioning Charlie Morton or Ian Anderson, even though the latter has struggled in his 10 starts this season. If you add a healthy Soroka to that rotation, things could get scary for the rest of the National League.
In an interview with 680 The Fan earlier this week, Alex Anthopoulos spoke about Soroka’s timetable and when we might see him in a rehab start.
“We’re looking at end of June, beginning of July. I don’t know where he’ll start, he’ll probably touch Gwinnett obviously at some point, but he’s been throwing bullpen. He’s been 92-95, and that’s really exciting just because a lot of time you don’t see big velocity when guys are throwing bullpen. He feels great, he looks great. Our thought with him was the All-Star break was the point.”
Soroka has said that he feels even better than he did before the injury, so if he can make it back in the rotation, Brian Snitker will have to move a starter down to the bullpen. Spencer Strider is an obvious candidate because of his fastball/slider combo, but Anderson has undoubtedly been the worst of the Braves’ five starters.
This is clearly a difficult situation to imagine at this stage. Soroka hasn’t even pitched a live game yet, but from all the reports, he seems to be ahead of schedule. One thing is certain: when Soroka, Eddie Rosario, Kirby Yates, and Tyler Matzek all return, the Braves are going to be a force to be reckoned with.
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