Monday, May 29, 2023

Braves ace Mike Soroka out for entire 2021 MLB season after setback during Achilles recovery


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Similar to 2020, 2021 is going to be a lost season for Braves ace Mike Soroka. The 23-year-old right hander tore his Achilles tendon last season on Aug. 3, his third start of the shortened season. 

The thought was Soroka would be back at some point this season, but he’s suffered a series of setbacks in his attempted return and Braves manager Brian Snitker said Friday on MLB Network the expectation is that Soroka won’t return this season. 

“He’s down for the year,” Snitker said. “Hopefully we’ll get him back next year.”

Soroka made five starts in 2018 and then announced his presence with authority in 2019. He went 13-4 with a 2.68 ERA (176 ERA+), 1.11 WHIP and 142 strikeouts in 174 2/3 innings. He was an All-Star, finished second in NL Rookie of the Year voting and sixth in NL Cy Young voting. 

The Braves currently have four members of their starting rotation in Max Fried, Charlie Morton, Drew Smyly and Ian Anderson. Huascar Ynoa is on the injured list with Soroka. 

Consistency in the rotation has been one of the Braves’ issues this season. They rank 14th in baseball with a 4.07 ERA from starters, but a lot of that is Ynoa and Anderson holding them up. Morton’s 3.98 ERA is serviceable, but Smyly and Fried have been bad for the most part. 

The Braves are 24-25 this season. It’s only 2 1/2 games out in the NL East. Given the expectations heading into the season after three straight NL East titles and a trip to the 2020 NLCS, it’s fair to say the Braves been one of the most disappointing teams in baseball to date. They have spent zero days above .500. 

The likelihood remains that the Braves get hot at some point, but the climb becomes tougher without knowing Soroka is coming back. 


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