Setting expectations for Michael Soroka’s first start since 2020

Michael Soroka, Atlanta Braves. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
Michael Soroka, Atlanta Braves. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /

Here is what to expect in Michael Soroka’s first start of the 2023 season for the Atlanta Braves.

For the first time since 2020, Michael Soroka will toe the rubber for the Atlanta Braves in a game that counts.

To say it has been a challenging last four years for Soroka would be putting it lightly. The 2019 NL All-Star and former ace of the Atlanta rotation ruptured his Achilles coming off the mound during a game in the early part of the 2020 COVID season. Nearly a year after his devastating injury, he popped it again in the Atlanta clubhouse. Now out of necessity, he is making his Braves return.

Here is what we should look forward to in Soroka’s first start for the Braves since 2020. He will be the Atlanta starter in the Braves’ first game on the road at the Oakland Athletics on Monday.

Setting expectations for Michael Soroka’s return to the Atlanta Braves rotation

This is all about one thing and one thing only: Soroka being able to walk off the mound after finishing an inning on his own accord. I don’t particularly care if he goes four, five or six innings, as long as he looks confident and more importantly, healthy enough to make his next start vs. presumably the Arizona Diamondbacks. That is all that matters. We want to see him do it again.

While I am uncertain if Soroka will return to the brilliant pitcher he was in his early 20s, there is still so much tread left on the tires in his big-league career. Although he may not ever be the front-end starter, big-game pitcher he was when the Braves first returned to prominence, Atlanta doesn’t need him to be. If he can give the team quality starts in the back-end of it, that is perfect.

Ultimately, anything Soroka can give the Atlanta rotation at this stage of his recovery should be seen as a positive. Imagine tearing your Achilles, and then tearing it again. Apart from having to do everyday life stuff, Soroka makes his living trying to get the best hitters the game of baseball has to provide at the plate. He might play for a contender, but he has already prevailed triumphantly.

Look for all eyes to be on Soroka when he steps onto the mound in The Coliseum Monday night.

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