Braves’ Michael Soroka won’t pitch again this season

Braves starting pitcher Michael Soroka throws at Truist Park on Tuesday, Sep. 5, 2023, in Atlanta. 
Miguel Martinez /

Credit: Miguel Martinez

Credit: Miguel Martinez

Braves starting pitcher Michael Soroka throws at Truist Park on Tuesday, Sep. 5, 2023, in Atlanta.  Miguel Martinez /

Michael Soroka’s 2023 season is over.

The tests he underwent revealed right forearm inflammation – as the team announced Wednesday morning – but nothing more, manager Brian Snitker said after Wednesday’s loss to the Cardinals.

“It’s not anything he’s gonna have time to come back from,” Snitker said.

The Braves found that the forearm inflammation caused numbing in Soroka’s fingers. This might be a positive, as it means the club didn’t find a tear of any sort.

Still, Soroka won’t pitch again this season.

It sounded as if Soroka wouldn’t need to undergo a procedure. The Braves seem to expect his forearm to heal with time and rest.

“I think it’s just one of those things, like (head athletic trainer George C. Poulis) says, that just happens,” Snitker said. “If this is April, we’d be going, ‘All right.’ But there’s just not enough time. And I think what he did after coming back and getting this far, I think, is pretty good. Credit to him, his work ethic, his determination and everything he’s done to get this far into September, even. But yeah, I think once they calm that down, then he can get on with his offseason routines.”

In the majors this season, Soroka posted a 6.40 ERA in seven games (six starts). He struck out 29 batters in 32 1/3 innings. He made a triumphant return to the mound, but his year ended because of an injury.

But on this journey, Soroka has displayed incredible perseverance. He’s been dealt one gut punch after another.

Despite the latest, those around him still believe he can be an effective major-league starter.

“With everything he’s been through, holy cow, there ain’t nothing that’s gonna stunt that guy,” Snitker said. “He’s had everything thrown at him you could probably have these last few years, and handled it all. That’s why he came back. He’s a strong individual.”

Fans cheer as Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Michael Soroka (40) walks to the dugout after the top of the first inning against the Miami Marlinsat Truist Park, Friday, June 30, 2023, in Atlanta. Jason Getz /

Credit: Jason Getz /

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Credit: Jason Getz /

Soroka tore the same Achilles tendon twice. Before this May, he hadn’t pitched in the major leagues since 2020, when he suffered the first of those injuries. He returned to the mound (in the minors) last season, but never made it to the majors.

The Braves recalled him to start their Memorial Day game in Oakland. At that point, Soroka hadn’t started a game in almost three full years.

His comeback story is inspiring, but he received another unfortunate twist on this lengthy journey when he felt numbness in his fingers on Tuesday, when he allowed five runs over three innings versus the Cardinals.

In time, it might be fair to wonder whether Soroka has thrown his final pitch for the Braves. He’s under team control through next season, but if the Braves don’t believe he’s healthy or that he’ll be effective, it’s difficult to know whether they’d still tender him a contract for next year.

For now, the immediate focus is on Soroka, the fan-favorite righty who worked so hard to make it back, only to have it end – for now – in disappointment.

“It’s clear the guy’s a hard worker and obviously has been through some hurdles, so I wouldn’t ever count him out,” Matt Olson said.