The Michael Soroka performance the Braves have been waiting for

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The Braves have been a hot and cold team of late, most recently losing their last two games to the Los Angeles Dodgers at Truist Park, a place where they are only .500 on the season. Some of their flaws have shown after bursting out of the gate to a scorching start, but that’s going to happen over a 162-game season. Every team–even the elite ones–is going to struggle at times, but baseball is all about building toward October, and the Braves have several reasons to be excited about what is to come.

Eventually, Max Fried and Kyle Wright are likely to return. I don’t have to explain how big of a boost those two will be, but there are also other emerging rotation options that are starting to give the Braves hope.

Jared Shuster is beginning to look more like he’s major-league ready in his second stint with the Braves. His most recent outing against the Mariners was borderline dominant. AJ Smith-Shawver continues to rocket up the farm system, pitching well in his first AAA start. He very well could be a crucial piece to Atlanta’s pitching staff later in the season, whether it be in the rotation or out of the bullpen. But perhaps the most exciting development of them all is Michael Soroka, who just turned in his best performance of the season for the Stripers last night.

Soroka made it through six innings, allowing just one run on two hits. He did have three walks, so there remain some concerns about his control, but he also had eight strikeouts. And most importantly, he threw nearly 100 pitches.

That’s now back-to-back high quality outings for the Maple Maddux, and though I’ve said it probably twenty times this season, it seems he’s getting close to getting the call back to the majors for the first time since 2020. Soroka doesn’t have much more to prove in Gwinnett. His stuff is big-league ready, but the Braves want to be absolutely positive that when he does return, he’s here to stay.

It wouldn’t shock me if the organization decided to let him continue to build up his confidence in AAA, especially with Shuster looking like a reliable option now, but it also wouldn’t surprise me if Soroka’s next start was in the majors.

Photo: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

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