TODAY: Sorokoa provided an update to reporters (including Gabe Burns of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and The Athletic’s David O’Brien), describing his shoulder issue as an “overload thing,” possibly from offseason workouts. He said his current shoulder problem isn’t related to the injuries that plagued him last season, and that he expects to be throwing within a few days and then pitching in game action late in Spring Training.
FRIDAY: Braves righty Mike Soroka has been shut down for an as-yet-undetermined stretch after experiencing discomfort in his throwing shoulder, as Mark Bowman of MLB.com was among those to report. It seems he will not require an MRI at this time, with the suspicion being that he is just dealing with tendinitis.
The hope had been that Soroka would be able to participate fully in camp after indications were that he was throwing without pain in the run-up to Spring Training. He had shown quite a bit of promise in a brief MLB run in 2018, but missed much of the season owing to shoulder problems.
As things have shaken out, there’s no real path for Soroka to battle for an Opening Day rotation spot. Instead, per skipper Brian Snitker, the club’s training staff is “just going to slow play him now.” Soroka will get some rest and then be watched carefully as he attempts to ramp things back up.
The hope at this point is that it’s just a blip for the talented 21-year-old. Snitker says that “everything checks out fine” from a structural perspective and that Soroka’s “strength is fine.” There’s even hope that Soroka will be back on a throwing program within the week, per the manager.
Braves fans can breathe easy for the time being, then. So long as Soroka bounces back and doesn’t experience further discomfort, he’ll still be available for almost all of the 2019 campaign. And the club still has a few other exciting youngsters, led by Touki Toussaint, ready to step into the fifth spot in the rotation. Of course, it’s also not the most comforting thing to hear after all that Soroka went through last year.
Even in the most optimistic scenario, the injury could well hurt Soroka’s pocketbooks. Once healthy, he will likely be optioned, stopping the clock on his service time. He picked up 153 days last year, much of it on the disabled (now injured) list, which would set him up for future Super Two qualification unless he spends a decent portion of the upcoming campaign in the minors.