What are the expectations for Mike Soroka entering 2023?

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I’ve been asked several times since the offseason began what my expectations are for Mike Soroka, and my answer is simple.

I have none.

Look, it’s completely unrealistic to expect Soroka to come back in 2023 and pitch anything like he did as a rookie back in 2019. He’s barely thrown over the last three years, and the last time we saw him, he was struggling Gwinnett. I’m not sure Soroka will ever get back to where he was once at. My primary and the Braves’ primary focus is that he comes into Spring Training healthy next year and is ready to compete for the final spot in the rotation.

The Braves will enter next season expecting nothing from Mike Soroka, just as they did in 2022. There’s a strong possibility he begins 2023 in AAA or with an entirely different organization altogether. The latter of those options would be heartbreaking, but there is a chance we’ve seen the last of him with the Braves.

But assuming Soroka is at Spring Training with Atlanta, he will be battling with guys like Bryce Elder, Freddy Tarnok, Kyle Muller, and whoever else Alex Anthopoulos decides to bring in for the final rotation spot. If healthy, I would consider him one of the favorites of that group to come out on top, but again, he has to prove he can avoid injuries before the Braves can really rely on him.

In short, whatever Mike Soroka gives the Braves next season is icing on the cake. I’m not expecting him to become an All-Star caliber pitcher again, but he’s still so young. Most players don’t even reach the majors by the time they are 25, and Soroka’s already made an All-Star team and undergone two different Achillies injuries. So who knows? I would love nothing more than to be wrong.

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