Soroka’s Down. What now?

Photo courtesy of Redleg Nation

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On Monday during the series finale against the NY Mets, Mike Soroka tore his Achilles’ tendon coming off the mound to cover 1st base on a grounder. In slow motion you could visibly see his right leg “vibrate” and he couldn’t put any weight on the leg, and have to be carried off the field by the Braves trainer & Brian Snitker. Braves Nation waited for updates on Soroka’s condition, only to be told he’s no longer available for the 2020 season.

What he has going for him is his young age, a young body is capable of recovering faster than someone in the middle or near the end of their professional baseball career.

What he doesn’t have going for him is he tore his Achilles in his plant foot, used during his pitching delivery. His plant foot is used to push off the pitching rubber & power the final parts of his delivery, meaning that leg is more vital from a weight distribution standpoint than the leg he lands on to finish his delivery. But Mike is a determined man, and I have very little reason to believe that this injury will derail his career; but I’m not a doctor, so that’s pure opinion.

So What Now?

Soroka’s spot in Atlanta’s rotation will undoubtedly be filled by the ever-capable Max Fried, who’s been masterful so far in his 2020 campaign. But that shift in the rotation leaves a hole on the back end.

The options the Braves have to fill the spot…

These options are on the premise that Touki Toussaint, Kyle Wright, & Sean Newcomb maintain their respective starter roles.

Within the organization

On the big league ball club currently…

Josh Tomlin: Tomlin has been the Braves long relief pitcher this year & last. He’s been one of the Braves best relievers, and in appearances that the team has either been down by a lot or the starter has been pulled early on. That role is different than that of a starter, but in terms of familiarity with multiple innings pitched, he’s been the leader in the pen.

Who we can promote…

Tucker Davidson: Tucker has been the most successful minor league pitcher above AA. He’s for sure one of the top two options within the organization who’ve not logged big league innings.

Ian Anderson: Ian is perhaps the most highly anticipated minor leaguer in Atlanta’s organization that doesn’t have big league experience, but he’s not been as successful in AAA as he’s been up to that level.

Bryse Wilson: the jury’s still out on Wilson’s upside, but he does have experience against the NL East. He’s been roughed up a couple times at baseball’s highest level but he’s also shown glimpses of quality starter potential.

Chad Sobotka: Sobotka is very much in the same boat as Bryse. But the advantage he does have on the other arms available from within is that he’s already been promoted to the big league active roster. His immediate role is still to be determined & announced, but we’ll definitely know more by the end of the weekend.

Who we’re not getting

Sonny Gray/Trevor Bauer: The Cincinnati pitching duo are firmly off the table in trade talks. Cincinnati hasn’t announced that, but then again, who does announce something like that until there’s been national talk of a possible deal? Cincy looks like a legitimate pennant contender in 2020; and even beyond, as they have pieces moving through the organization to fill any perceived “weak spots”. Such as Jose Garcia, the high upside shortstop who will be taking stop-gap Freddy Galvis’ spot when he’s ready.

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