Braves: Who Needs to Step Up After Mike Soroka Injury Setback

While the Atlanta Braves were happy to pick up their first wins of the season on Wednesday, the day had its disappointments with Mike Soroka suffering a setback. 

The Atlanta Braves pitching staff has been very solid to start the season with a 4.18 ERA in 28 innings with 36 strikeouts.

But they’ll need them to hold things together a little longer after it was announced on Wednesday that Mike Soroka will be shut down for two weeks with shoulder inflammation.

While not directly related to the Achilles injury that he was recovering from, this is a setback in the process.

There were thoughts he could be back in mid-April, but now it’s likely mid-May at the earliest before we see him.

As we’ve talked about on the Tomahawk Take podcast, slow playing Soroka’s return isn’t the worst thing in the world.

The Braves have the depth in the rotation to cover his innings while he’s out. And I’d much rather have Soroka fresh for the end of the season and postseason than rush to get him back and April or May.

So even if he doesn’t pitch until June, the Braves can cover him and be OK. The most important thing is just making sure they get to the postseason with a healthy Max Fried, Charlie Morton, Ian Anderson, and Soroka.

There was also a scare with Fried on Wednesday after taking a comebacker off the leg, but he appears to be fine and will make his next start.

Speaking of guys in the rotation who need to step up, much like Fried had to do last year, the Braves need him to be an ace many think he can be.

It’s been a rough start for him giving up 7 earned runs on 14 hits and 3 walks in 7 innings with 11 strikeouts.

Huascar Ynoa’s start on Wednesday was certainly encouraging after hearing the news on Soroka. He got in a jam in the third but got a huge double-play with Trea Turner up to get it out of that mess.

That’s been his biggest problem, he’ll be dominant for a while but there will be one inning where things unravel. If he gains the confidence to get past that he’ll be just fine.

He’ll likely get the first stab at that fifth spot in the rotation with Bryse Wilson ready to step in if needed.

But this is what the Braves spent $15 million on Charlie Morton for. To be that veteran presence in the rotation that can settle things down.

While we need Fried to be the ace, maybe even more importantly we need Morton to be the anchor. Someone we can depend on to go out every fifth day and give us a chance to win.

That’s why I’m not too concerned about the Soroka news and think it could be a blessing in disguise (saving his bullets for the end of the season).

It is concerning that this is the second time in three years he’s suffered from shoulder inflammation, which could lead to a much bigger issue.

But for now, I’m not pushing the panic button on him and am confident that the starting rotation will hold up just fine until he’s able to get back to 100 percent.