The Braves announced this morning that lefty Sean Newcomb has been reinstated from the Covid-19 injured list. To open a spot on the 40-man roster, righty Mike Soroka was transferred to the 60-day injured list. Atlanta also recalled righty Edgar Santana and optioned both Bryse Wilson and Johan Camargo to their alternate site.
The Soroka portion of the announcement may cause some alarm among fans, but that 60-day term refers to the total number of days he must spend on the injured list — including days already spent there. In other words, it’s 60 days from his initial placement on Opening Day — not 60 days from today. Soroka will be eligible to return at the end of May, but the latest reports out of Atlanta suggest he’s not likely to be ready to return to the roster until mid-June anyhow. It’s a largely procedural move.
Newcomb, 27, got out to a fast start this season but has been sidelined since being placed on the Covid list back on April 17. The starter-turned-reliever has pitched 5 1/3 innings and allowed just one run while striking out a whopping 12 of the 22 hitters he’s faced. Granted, he’s also walked four batters and hit another, but the early uptick in strikeout rate, average fastball velocity (95.2 mph, up from 93.6 mph in 2020) and swinging-strike rate (14 percent, up from seven percent in 2020) are intriguing small-sample things for Braves fans to keep an eye on.
The 23-year-old Wilson started last night’s game, so he’ll head down to the alternate site as a means of getting some fresh arms into the ’pen. Santana will be making his club debut when he first gets into a game. The former Pirates righty missed the 2019 season due to an elbow injury that eventually required Tommy John surgery. He didn’t make it back to the big leagues in 2020 due to that surgery and an 80-game PED suspension. The Braves picked him up earlier this month in exchange for cash. Prior to surgery, he sat 95 mph with his heater and carried a career 3.31 ERA with a sub-par 21 percent strikeout rate but a 6.8 percent walk rate that was much better than the league average.