If you were to poll Atlanta Braves fans right now, the one guy that would get nearly universal support for is Michael Soroka. While most have had to be realistic given the long road he has had to take back from two Achilles' injuries, you will struggle to find anyone that isn't rooting for him and most are desperate for good news on his recovery.
Those supporters got some great news on Wednesday as Braves manager Brian Snitker gave an update on how Soroka is doing down at Triple-A Gwinnett as well as his assessment of when we could see him back in the big leagues again.
Soroka's last start with Gwinnett was a success by nearly every measure. Over six innings of work, he gave up one run on two hits and three walks with eight strikeouts. It had been a struggle for Soroka to be effective deeper into starts until that start and with Alex Anthopoulos in attendance, Soroka showed that he had taken a step forward.
Given the state of the Braves' rotation and bullpen, they are going to need Soroka ready
When Max Fried and Kyle Wright both went down with injuries that are likely to keep them out until at least July, it put the Braves' depth to the test and the results have been mixed so far. Thankfully, Bryce Elder has been good because Jared Shuster and Dylan Dodd haven't been able to solidify their spots in the rotation just yet and the Braves' attempts to use bullpen games to cover innings in the short-term went extremely poorly.
Shuster pitched well his last time out and it looks very likely that Dylan Dodd will be back up soon, so the very near term doesn't require Soroka. However, having both rookies pitch well AND nothing else happen injury-wise leading up until July seems a bit ambitious of a thought given the Braves luck this year and lord knows that the state of the bullpen right now doesn't give much confidence that going back to THAT well is a good idea.
It may not be this week, but the Braves are going to need Soroka this year. Fortunately, it looks like he is close to ready to be the next man up.