Right-hander Mike Soroka of the Atlanta Braves entered the field in a legitimate game on Tuesday night for the first time in more than two calendar years. In a minor league rehab start with the High Class-A Rome Braves, Soroka, who has missed most of the last two years due to Achilles issues, struck out eight of the 14 batters he faced and threw four scoreless innings. “I’m glad for him. I’m sure he’s anxious to get things going. It’s been a long time since he’s been under the lights.
It’s nice to see him start the rehab process,” Braves manager Brian Snitker told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution earlier this week. Soroka, who is still only 25, initially tore his Achilles covering first base on Aug. 3, 2020, and needed season-ending surgery. Then, in June 2021, Soroka tore the Achilles again — he “felt a pop” as he walked to the clubhouse — and required a second surgery. Soroka was nearing a minor-league rehab assignment at the time and the Braves were hopeful he could return in August.
Mike Soroka is set to have a rather short rehab start
Soroka has now played in competitive games after more than a full calendar year since his second Achilles surgery, after facing batters in practice games at Atlanta’s spring complex in recent weeks. The number of rehab starts Soroka will make has not been disclosed by the Braves, but the fact that he pitched four innings and 45 pitches on Tuesday implies that it might not be a lengthy recovery.
Soroka, who finished second to Pete Alonso for the 2019 NL Rookie of the Year award, tossed 174 2/3 innings with a 2.68 ERA in that campaign. That year, when all kinds of home run records were established in Major League Baseball, Soroka topped all qualifying pitchers with a 0.72 HR/9, thanks to his powerful sinker. In 214 innings over 37 starts from 2018 to 2020, he has a 2.86 ERA.