The last two Braves All-Star pitchers, Mike Soroka and Mike Foltynewicz, will be making their spring debuts this week.
Foltynewicz will start Tuesday against the Twins. Soroka will pitch sometime later, according to manager Brian Snitker.
Soroka was pushed slightly back after sustaining a small groin tweak while pitching a batting practice. The Braves stressed it’s not concern — they’re just taking the cautious route.
“(Pitching) In batting practice, he caught his cleat early, so we’re just making sure,” Snitker said. “It’s nothing huge. He felt a little something in the groin area. We had a couple days built in for all of (our pitchers) so we wouldn’t miss anything. So it’s just one of those things where we can do this, so we’re just going to make sure, more than anything.”
Soroka is coming off his first full season. The right-hander started 29 games, earning a 2.68 ERA across 174-2/3 innings. He finished sixth in Cy Young voting.
Foltynewicz, meanwhile, is seeking consistency along the lines of his 2018 season, when he struck out more than 200 hitters and realized his immense potential. He struggled last season — beginning with missing spring training and the beginning of the regular season due to elbow discomfort.
He had a 6.37 ERA in 11 starts after returning, forcing the Braves to demote him to Triple-A. Foltynewicz returned with a vengeance, posting a 2.65 ERA with 55 strikeouts against 17 walks in his final 10 outings. The 2020 season should more clearly define the 28-year-old’s trajectory.
The Braves defeated the Orioles 5-0 in their first exhibition game Saturday, started by rotation-hopeful Felix Hernandez. Bryse Wilson started Sunday, with Max Fried scheduled for Monday.
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