Mike Soroka still ‘far away’ from rejoining Braves

Braves starting pitcher Mike Soroka delivers in the sixth inning of a spring training game against the Boston Red Sox Tuesday, March 30, 2021, in Fort Myers, Fla. Soroka was making his first appearance of the spring after tearing his Achilles tendon last August. (John Bazemore/AP)
Braves starting pitcher Mike Soroka delivers in the sixth inning of a spring training game against the Boston Red Sox Tuesday, March 30, 2021, in Fort Myers, Fla. Soroka was making his first appearance of the spring after tearing his Achilles tendon last August. (John Bazemore/AP)

Credit: John Bazemore

Credit: John Bazemore

While the Braves will welcome back several injured players over the next week, starter Mike Soroka remains a long way away from returning.

Soroka hasn’t pitched since tearing his Achilles in his third start of the 2020 season. He was progressing well throughout spring, even pitching in the Braves’ final exhibition game, but right-shoulder inflammation required Soroka to shut it down earlier this month. Once on track for returning in late April — during the team’s next homestand, in fact — there’s now no timetable for Soroka to rejoin the rotation.

Manager Brian Snitker said Wednesday he believes Soroka could resume throwing soon, “but he’s so far away it’s not even relevant right now.” That isn’t a new development. It just further reinforces that the Braves won’t have their prized young right-hander for a while. The Braves have the depth to withstand his absence, with younger pitchers Huascar Ynoa, Bryse Wilson and Kyle Wright having made starts this season.

Whenever Soroka is back, he’ll provide a major boost to the rotation if he pitches like his old self. In 2019, his first full season, Soroka was an All-Star and had a 2.68 ERA in 29 starts. The Braves have dealt with a fluid rotation thus far because of injuries, but the 23-year-old’s return certainly could change their fortunes for the better.

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