Michael Soroka to make his first MLB start since 2020 against Oakland

Mar 22, 2023; Lakeland, Florida, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Mike Soroka (40) throws a
Mar 22, 2023; Lakeland, Florida, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Mike Soroka (40) throws a / Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

The last couple of days have been rife with speculation as to whether or not Michael Soroka was going to make his long awaited return to the Atlanta Braves after dealing with some absolutely brutal injuries. It has taken him some time (with some setbacks) to work his way back, but you would be hard pressed to find a guy that Braves fans have been rooting for more.

When Dylan Dodd was optioned back to Triple-A, the speculation started running rampant that Soroka would be coming back especially in the wake of Snitker's comments on Soroka's rehab. However, once Soroka was a healthy scratch from his start in Gwinnett, it went from hopeful speculation to "holy #$@# this could really be happening" very quickly on Sunday. This was only amplified by Alex Anthopoulos' comments on MLB Radio where he basically all by said that Soroka was going to be starting on Monday.

Now, our hopes have been all but officially confirmed.

What should the Atlanta Braves expect from Soroka upon his return?

Through eight starts for Triple-A Gwinnett, Soroka has posted a 4.33 ERA with 35 strikeouts in 35.1 innings pitched. His last start was excellent as he went six innings and gave up just two hits and three walks while striking out eight batters. That was good enough for the Braves as they pulled the trigger and Soroka will make his first big league appearance since his tore his Achilles back in 2020.

Just to be abundantly clear, just because Soroka is back doesn't mean that we should all expect him to just be the guy he used to. Before he was hurt, he was among the best pitchers in the entire National League, but that was three years, multiple surgeries, and a different delivery ago. That he has been able to come back and pitch at all is nothing short of miraculous.

Fortunately, he is going against a truly terrible Oakland Athletics team that might be worse than the Triple-A team that he just dominated. For now, though, we should hope that he pitches decent and gets through his first start healthy. Given how long he (and we) have waited, that will more than enough for now.