Soroka’s injuries have been well chronicled and his journey back has culminated with six solid innings on May 29th, 2023 against the Oakland Athletics.
Soroka looked very good in the outing. There were times when he lost command and that did come back to bite him in the fifth inning, but overall Soroka gave Braves fans reason for optimism.
Although the Braves lost Kyle Wright and Max Fried a couple of weeks ago, they didn’t feel like Soroka was ready to bring back to the big leagues. They exercised their patience with him to ensure he had the durability, the stuff, and the command to contribute at the Major League levels.
Soroka posted a 4.33 ERA in eight starts with the Gwinnett Stripers this season.
Atlanta Braves: Michael Soroka’s 2023 Debut
Soroka’s stuff looked great tonight. He totaled 83 pitches with 55 strikes. He threw 23 changeups, 23 sinkers, 19 four-seam fastballs, and 18 sliders. He really had a balanced attack with a pretty good command of each pitch.
Soroka earned 6 of his 11 whiffs off the changeup, which was deadly tonight. While there was only one swing and miss, the old trusty sinker accounted for the most called strikes + whiffs (CSW) with one whiff and eight called strikes.
Soroka’s four-seam fastball topped out at 95.7 mph, which continued the trend of increased velocity Soroka had shown in Triple-A. He averaged 93.3 mph on the four-seamer.
Soroka didn’t allow a hit until the third inning. He started with four shutout innings before a three-run homer to Ryan Noda, as a part of a four-run inning. He hit two batters, with one of them also coming in the fifth.
Soroka gave the Braves and their fans plenty to be excited about. If he can hold down a rotation spot and take command of his improved stuff, the Braves could be set up for a phenomenal second half when Fried and Wright return to the rotation.