Michael Soroka will not pitch again for the Atlanta Braves in 2023 as he deals with forearm inflammation.
The good news for Soroka is that tests did not reveal any structural damage in his forearm.
“It’s not anything he’s gonna have time to come back from,” manager Brian Snitker told reporters after Atlanta’s game against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Soroka, who has pitched most of the season at Gwinnett, started the series opener against the Cardinals but lasted just three innings. He allowed five runs and four hits, including two homers, and complained of numbness in his fingers.
With his season over, Soroka’s focus will now shift towards getting ready for the 2024 season.
“I think it’s just one of those things, like (head athletic trainer George C. Poulis) says, that just happens,” Snitker said. “If this is April, we’d be going, ‘All right.’ But there’s just not enough time. And I think what he did after coming back and getting this far, I think, is pretty good. Credit to him, his work ethic, his determination and everything he’s done to get this far into September, even. But yeah, I think once they calm that down, then he can get on with his offseason routines.”
Soroka was a All-Star in 2019, when he went 13-4 with a 2.68 ERA in his first full season with the Braves. He finished second in the NL Rookie of the Year voting and sixth in balloting for the league’s Cy Young Award.
Then, in Soroka’s third start of the pandemic-delayed 2020 season, the pitcher tore his right Achilles tendon during a routine fielding play.
After a follow-up procedure to address complications and nine grueling months of rehab, Soroka blew out the tendon again while simply walking into Truist Park, not long after a protective boot had been removed.
Other than one spring training appearance shortly before the start of the 2021 season, he did not pitch at all the last two years.
Soroka finally returned to the mound this season, though he started out in the minors as the Braves tried to ensure he was fully recovered and had regained the form he showed before the Achilles injuries.
There were some promising outings at Gwinnett, where Soroka went 4-4 with a 3.41 ERA in 17 starts, but he never resembled the guy who was one of baseball’s most dynamic young pitchers.
The MLB-leading Braves brought him up three times to make spot starts in their injury-plagued rotation. Soroka went 2-2 with a 6.40 ERA in 32 1/3 innings, surrendering 36 hits, 12 walks and nine homers over six starts and one relief appearance.
–With files from the Associated Press.