Michael Soroka Turned A Corner in 2023
After not being able to pitch since 2020, he got 120 innings of work under his belt. It's no surprise that his command came and went throughout his stints in Atlanta and Gwinnett. The Braves could have used a solid Soroka in the postseason rotation, but we probably should have been looking more toward 2024. Fans had their fingers crossed and we still saw the 2019 Rookie/ACE when he took the mound but the Braves never treated Soroka like the expected him to be a vital piece of the puzzle in 2023.
I disagree with this take from ESPN. "There were some promising outings at Gwinnett, where Soroka went 4-4 with a 3.41 ERA in 17 starts, but he never resembled the guy who was one of baseball's most dynamic young pitchers."
Sure, Soroka had bad numbers for the Atlanta Braves this season. We can't sugarcoat that part. The question is, how much does that matter? Do you think the Braves front office is upset he wasn't able to come back after three years and dominate? I would bet they are thrilled that they got 120 innings out of him without a major phsyical setback.
Soroka battled mechanical issues all year. He appeared to put things together in August as he was named the International League Pitcher of the Month.
Despite a rough three innings for Atlanta, Soroka ended the 2023 season on a month-long high note in Gwinnett. He appeared to finally get some form of sustainable control.
After striking 34 batters in 26 innings in August for Gwinnett, Soroka started his final game against the Cardinals with two Ks in the first inning. Soroka made a couple of mistakes after that and then left the game with numbness in his fingers. Of the 30 hard-hit balls in the game, Soroka allowed two. All-in-all, not SO bad.
The amount of work Soroka got in this season is a huge step in the right direction. His dominance in August is a huge step in the right direction. Soroka will spend the offseason taking more steps in the right direction. He's got the talent, he's got the track record, and he's got a year of work under his belt.
Soroka has an immense amount of drive and an equal amount of talent. I'm optimistic about what Soroka will bring to the 2024 Atlanta Braves.