As far as spot starts go, few are more enticing than a Mike Soroka return. Due to a shoulder injury, Soroka had not pitched a game for the Braves since June of last year. However, he flashed just as much promise as he did a year ago, and made his case for more work in the future.
Soroka’s velocity looked great to start the game. His fastball was sitting between 92-96 mph throughout the day. As he got deeper into his outing, his velo dropped a bit and he started to lose some control. However, some rust is to be expected as he has only made two minor league starts since the injury. Given the circumstances, and the fact that Soroka got out of trouble when he needed to, it was an impressive outing, to say the least. His sinker was on point today and makes a perfect compliment to his four-seamer as a strikeout pitch.
The recent success of a few of the young starters may put the Braves in a situation where they may need to make a move or roll with a six-man rotation. Sure, the Braves can just send Soroka down for now. But with time he will be ready to take a spot in this rotation. Mike Foltynewicz is about to return, and Kevin Gausman and Julio Teheran have solidified spots in the rotation. But Max Fried and Touki Toussaint have also both been impressive, and deserve extended stints to prove themselves. Don’t forget Kyle Wright and Bryse Wilson on the outside looking in, too.
These situations usually work themselves out in baseball, but Mike Soroka is making this a tougher decision for the Braves front office.