Michael Soroka called back up to Braves, will start Friday's game

Atlanta Braves v Arizona Diamondbacks
Atlanta Braves v Arizona Diamondbacks / Chris Coduto/GettyImages

A few days later than some expected, but an Atlanta Braves fan favorite is back with the big league club to start Friday night's game against the Miami Marlins.

Michael Soroka will make his third start of the 2023 season with the Braves, after an impressive stretch of pitching in Triple-A Gwinnett. Soroka has struck out 18 batters in his last three starts for the Stripers, and was one out away from a seven inning no-hitter in his previous start. His performance netted him International League Player of the Week honors.

This will be the first time Soroka will pitch at Truist Park since August 3, 2020, when he tore his right Achilles tendon that led to him being sidelined almost three years. He made his first two starts of 2023 on the road during a west coast road trip.

Soroka threw six innings in his return against the Oakland Athletics back in late May, allowing four earned runs off of five hits and ended up with a loss. He got hit harder in his next start against the Arizona Diamondbacks, giving up two home runs and allowing five earned runs before he was sent back down to Gwinnett.

There was some speculation Soroka would make his return to the major league rotation on Wednesday after AJ-Smith Shawver was sent back to Triple-A after a rough start on the road at Cincinnati. Instead, the Braves opted for Kolby Allard to start the series finale against the Twins on Wednesday. Allard pitched a strong 4.2 innings while striking out eight batters, and gave up just three hits.

Soroka's return gives the revolving door that is the back end of the Atlanta rotation a big boost, and hopefully some stability heading into the second half of the season, until Max Fried and Kyle Wright are cleared to return to the big league club.