Braves: When should we realistically expect Mike Soroka back?

Soroka's postgame reaction

The Braves received more bad news regarding Mike Soroka yesterday, who hasn’t caught a break in almost three years. The Canadian right-hander reportedly suffered a setback recently after a comebacker struck him on the knee.

Understandably, the Braves aren’t going to rush Soroka until the bruise is fully healed, and they don’t need to. They’ve won 27 of their last 33 games, with excellent performances from all five members of the rotation playing a large part in those wins. Getting a healthy Soroka back would be a tremendous boost to an already loaded pitching staff, but his long-term health is far more important to the organization. He’s still only 24 years old after all.

A setback for Soroka isn’t what anybody wants to hear, but this is an issue that shouldn’t be too much of a problem. Within a week or two, the bruised knee will heal, and Soroka will resume throwing. Not long after that, he will begin his rehab stint in the minors. So when’s the earliest we can expect to see the Maple Maddux back in Atlanta?

Prior to the setback, it was reported that Soroka was about to begin his rehab assignment, and Brian Snitker said the assignment would last about 30 days. Now, I don’t think that number is firm. I believe the Braves are planning on Soroka starting five games in the minors, and depending on how he feels, he could be called up quicker or even spend some more time on the farm.

With this setback, I think the earliest we see Soroka is mid-August, and even that might be a stretch. That will give him about six weeks to carve out a role for himself before the postseason. I’m not putting anything past Soroka. The fact that the young man is even nearing a return after back-to-back torn Achilles is incredible. However, now more than ever, it looks like it will be very difficult for him to get to the level he needs to be by October for a postseason run.


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