ATLANTA -- When the Braves had to put Mike Soroka back on the disabled list last week, they knew they could not test his sore right shoulder after just one month. So when forced to create a 40-man roster spot before Wednesday afternoon's 6-5 loss against the Reds, the team placed the 20-year-old right-hander on the 60-day DL.
"Not a surprise for us, just a formality, a transactional thing," Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos said.
By transitioning Soroka to the 60-day DL, Atlanta created a 40-man roster spot for Wes Parsons, who was promoted from Triple-A Gwinnett to provide a long-relief option against Cincinnati.
Parsons' stay at the Major League level lasted just a few hours. He was optioned back to Gwinnett immediately after Wednesday's loss. Parsons' arrival was a product of the Braves feeling they needed some insurance as they entered the game knowing they could not use Matt Wisler, Shane Carle and possibly the recently taxed Jesse Biddle. Wisler and Carle both completed at least two innings on Monday.
Wisler's reward for coming up to provide 2 1/3 innings during Tuesday's loss was an assignment back to Gwinnett to create a 25-man roster spot for Parsons.
Soroka was initially placed on the 10-day DL when right shoulder inflammation began bothering him during his May 12 start in Miami. The highly regarded prospect was activated June 13. But the shoulder discomfort returned as he made just his second start back from the DL.
"[Soroka's arm] just needs to rest," Anthopoulos said. "It was very similar to last time, and now, just the fact that it's been a recurrence, we just felt like we needed to give it more time to heal and more time to rest."
Multiple MRI exams have indicated Soroka is not dealing with any structural issues. While this is encouraging, the Braves plan to have him rest his arm for approximately one month before he resumes throwing.
Soroka will need to begin building himself back up to regain the arm strength and endurance necessary to make a start because of the extended layoff. If he returns to the rotation this season, he would not do so before the second half of August.
"I think the first time, [Soroka] had two weeks of no-throw, or right around that time," Anthopoulos said. "He needs more time. We don't have it down to the days, but the thought is around that four-week period of not throwing, we'll get it going again. Now if he feels he needs another five, six days to get going again, we'll do that. As he builds up, going through bullpen [sessions] and long tossing, if at some point we need to back him off, we'll adjust and move along."
Acuna set to return Friday
Anthopoulos confirmed Ronald Acuna Jr. will likely be activated from the DL in time to return to Atlanta's lineup for Friday night's series opener in St. Louis.
Acuna has been on a Minor League rehab stint with Gwinnett since Friday. The 20-year-old phenom played the entirety of Tuesday night's game in left field and was scheduled to fill that same role during Wednesday's game in Norfolk.
"With Acuna, we will see how he does today," Anthopoulos said. "But we are optimistic that if he comes out of the game today and is going to play nine innings again for back-to-back days in the outfield and he feels fine, then we are going see him on Friday in St. Louis."
Acuna ranks as MLB Pipeline's top overall prospect. He has been sidelined since suffering a mild tear of his left anterior cruciate ligament on May 27.
"Once [Acuna's] up here, the plan is to play him every day," Anthopoulos said. "So the rehab plan was just to get him on his legs and to get his stamina back."