Mike Soroka Continues Major League Rehab in Gwinnett
Though his return to the majors has almost become a myth to many Braves fans, Mike Soroka has continued his path to Atlanta on Sunday with another rehab start in Gwinnett.
It has been over 2 years since we have seen the former rookie of the year runner-up Mike Soroka throw a pitch for the Atlanta Braves. As many fans remember, Mike Soroka tore his Achilles in only his 3rd game of the shortened and delayed 2020 season.
Soroka’s season-ending injury served as a significant blow to the Braves pitching staff in 2020, especially considering Mike’s incredible rookie year in which he had a 2.68 ERA and finished 6th in Cy Young voting. Soroka’s bad luck with his Achilles did not stop there unfortunately.
While trying to recover from his Achilles tear and build his way back up to pitching, Soroka re-tore his Achilles while walking to the ballpark in June of 2021.
After 2 consecutive tears and multiple years not playing, Soroka’s return has become more of a folktale than a matter of fact to many fans, myself included. However, that did not stop Mike and the rest of the Braves training staff from continuing Mike’s path back to pitching.
Good news came to Braves fans earlier this week when Mike was called on to make his first professional start in over 2 years in Rome and he did not disappoint. Through 4 scoreless innings, Soroka struck out 8 batters and only gave up 1 hit. He also started the game striking out the first 8 out of 9 batters he faced.
With an outstanding start, the Braves elected to keep moving Soroka up the ladder, this time to triple-A with the the Gwinnett Stripers to start on Monday.
In his Triple-A debut, Soroka threw 3.1 innings, giving up 6 hits and 2 earned runs. Though not quite as impressive as his start in Rome was, the significant jump in competition and the 58 pitches he threw showcased continued Soroka’s progress back up to the majors.
Out of the 58 pitches Soroka thew Sunday, 39 were strikes, which is a good sign for someone who is only making their second start in 2 years.
Mike will make at least 1 more start with the Stripers, though I would expect the Braves won’t rush him back and let him get two more starts in.
It’s important for Braves fans to manage their expectations with Soroka as he gears back towards Atlanta. He will probably only see 2-4 starts in the majors before the playoffs begin, and even then the Braves may elect to use him out of the bull pen, possibly as a long reliever.
With the rosters expanding soon allowing each team another pitcher on the major league roster, it sure doesn’t hurt to send one of the best young pitchers in the league back up and see what he can do before October.
Only time will tell on Mike Soroka and his status with the Braves once he gets called up, but he is for sure nearing his return to Atlanta.