What is the Atlanta Brave's plan for Michael Soroka?

Since fighting his way back from injury, Michael Soroka is still struggling to find himself. Can he still be an effective starter? Will the Braves look at moving him to the bullpen? What does his future look like with the Braves?
Chicago White Sox v Atlanta Braves
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1. Let Him Start and See What Happens

Michael Soroka
Atlanta Braves v Milwaukee Brewers / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages

Soroka has pitched 6 innings in 3 of his 5 starts this season. In each of those games, he allowed at least 3 earned runs. In the other two starts, he couldn't make it out of the 4th inning due to control issues, high pitch counts, or just an off day.

Even after respectable appearances, it seems that Soroka has not had a fair shot to prove himself this season. Take a look at the game between his last 5 MLB outings:

July 21st, July 16th (relief appearance), July 5th, June 30th, and June 4th. When you are in question if you will be in the MLB, Triple-A, starting or potentially coming out of the bullpen, it could be very difficult to get in a rhythm.

Maybe providing him with 3-4 consecutive starts could provide him with some reassurance that the organization believes he still has the potential to take the ball every fifth day, allowing him to pitch with a little less pressure.

2. Move Him to the Pen

Michael Soroka
Miami Marlins v Atlanta Braves / Kevin D. Liles/Atlanta Braves/GettyImages

It is clear that Soroka still has the stuff to get outs at the big league level. His control so far in 2023 has not been the same as it was before his injuries, but the velocity and movement on his pithces are still there.

If Soroka struggles going deep into games but is effective for 1-3 innings on a consistent basis, he could actually improve the Braves bullpen. He could take on the role Collin McHugh has been trusted with as of late.

With McHugh's ERA creeping closer to 4.00, Soroka may actually be a better option to call upon when Brian Snitker needs a reliever to go multiple innings. There would be more moving pieces to this option to fill out the MLB roster, but could still be a possibility.

3. Let Him Go

Michael Soroka
Atlanta Braves v Arizona Diamondbacks / Bruce Yeung/GettyImages

At some point in time, the Braves have to decide if Soroka has proven he should stay or let him go. He signed a 1 yr/$2.8 million deal with the Braves. It would seem the Braves signed him only for one season to give him a chance to prove he deserves a longer deal. As we have already stated, he hasn't really had a fair shot to do that in 2023.

Seeing Soroka leave the Braves organization would be tough to see. His story along with his go-with-the-flow attitude makes it difficult to root against him. However, under the right circumstances, it could make sense to trade him.

Obviously with his history of injury and limited statistics since return, his value is not even close to what it was back in 2019. However, a team that is selling at the trade deadline could be willing to give him a shot at the big league level to finish out 2023 with intentions to resign him to a multi-year deal if they are happy with the results.

With Atlanta in the market for starting pitching and potential bullpen help in the final hours before the deadline, Soroka could be a name that other organizations could potentially have an interest in. It is unlikely that the Braves move Soroka but it wouldn't hurt to listen to inquiries.