1:10 pm: Despite Snitker’s assertion that Soroka is “down for the year,” the Braves haven’t yet officially ruled out Soroka this season, O’Brien hears. He’ll be reevaluated in two weeks to define a potential timetable for his recovery.
12:46 pm: Braves manager Brian Snitker confirmed this afternoon during an interview on the MLB Network that right-hander Mike Soroka is out for the remainder of the season (h/t to David O’Brien of the Athletic). Soroka underwent exploratory surgery on his right Achilles a couple weeks ago.
It’ll go down as a completely lost season for Soroka, his second consecutive injury-wrecked year. The 23-year-old originally tore his Achilles last August, just three starts into the abbreviated campaign. While there had been hope Soroka would return to the rotation relatively early in 2021, further health woes prevented that from happening. He was shut down from his rehab process in early April due to shoulder inflammation before renewed trouble with the Achilles resulted in the aforementioned surgery.
That series of injuries has stalled a brilliant start to Soroka’s MLB career. The former top prospect held his own in his first seven MLB starts in 2018 before an All-Star 2019 effort. Soroka tossed 174 2/3 innings of 2.68 ERA/4.28 SIERA ball as a 21-year-old that year, finishing second in NL Rookie of the Year balloting and sixth in NL Cy Young award voting. He’ll now unfortunately miss nearly two full seasons of action, although he’s certainly still young enough to regain his prior form if he returns to full strength in 2022.
Soroka had already been placed on the 60-day injured list. Players on the MLB injured list accumulate service time, so he’ll be credited with a full year of service for the 2021 season. Soroka will reach arbitration eligibility for the first time this winter and is under team control through 2024.