The Braves have two important starts to keep an eye on within the organization today. Kyle Wright toes the rubber in Atlanta for the first time tonight after winning 21 games a year ago, and Mike Soroka made his second appearance for the Gwinnett Stripers this afternoon.
Mike Soroka’s outing started shaky. A walk and a softly hit single put runners at the corners with nobody out, and a stolen base then put them at second and third. However, the Maple Maddux did a wonderful job of limiting the damage, surrendering just one run after striking out two and giving up a softly hit ground ball in front of the mound, which he fielded cleanly.
Soroka spent the rest of the afternoon mostly on cruise control. He sat down the side in order in the second, adding two more strikeouts. The third inning began with a walk, but a successful pickoff play led to the first out. The Redbirds recorded one more hit in the inning, but two softly hit fly balls prevented any damage from occurring. In his fourth and final inning of the afternoon, he worked quickly around a hit, adding another strikeout to his tally, giving him five on the day.
Soroka’s final stat line read: (71 pitches) four innings, one run, three hits, two walks, and five strikeouts.
The 71 pitches Soroka threw was up from the 61 he tossed in his first start of the season. Overall, he was rock solid after the first inning. Soroka generated a ton of whiffs and a lot of soft contact. He’s looking a lot more like the guy Braves fans came to love pre-injury.
My expectations for Soroka next time out is to throw somewhere from 80-85 pitches. If he can accomplish that while still flashing the same stuff we have seen over his first two starts, it won’t be long before the Braves consider bringing him back to the majors. Soroka is undoubtedly a major-league caliber talent, and he will help the big-league club this season as long as he can stay healthy.
Photo: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire
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