ATLANTA -- Instead of accelerating his efforts to rejoin the Braves rotation, Mike Soroka will undergo exploratory surgery on his right Achilles tendon next week.
This stands as yet another significant setback for Soroka, who tore his right Achilles tendon while making his third start of the season last year. His attempt to rejoin Atlanta’s rotation near the start of May was erased when he experienced right shoulder inflammation in early April.
With his shoulder feeling better, Soroka was aiming to spend the next month making necessary preparations to possibly be activated during the second half of June. But the Achilles once again became a problem when he felt discomfort while casually walking this week.
“There was no one thing that he did,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “It was just something over time that he felt and knew something wasn’t right.”
A MRI exam led to the scheduling of the surgical procedure, which will be performed by Dr. Robert Anderson in Green Bay, Wis. Anderson performed the original surgery after the Braves hurler tore the Achilles while coming off the mound to cover first base during an Aug. 3 start against the Mets.
Until the surgery is completed, the Braves will not know whether Soroka will be available at any point this season.
“I hate it for the kid,” Snitker said. “He’s worked so hard and has come so far and he’s so dedicated to get back.”
Soroka made his first five career starts in 2018 and then was shut down for the season’s final three months because of right shoulder inflammation. The 23-year-old Canadian earned an All-Star selection and posted the National League’s third-best ERA (2.68) during his stellar 2019 rookie season. But he also missed the first few weeks of that season with a shoulder ailment that was blamed on heavy weight lifting.
“I just hate it for him, as much as he likes to compete and play,” Snitker said. “We’ll see.”
With Max Fried, Charlie Morton, Ian Anderson, Huascar Ynoa and Drew Smyly, the Braves currently have a full rotation. Confidence in their depth was enhanced as Bryse Wilson worked six strong innings in Tuesday night’s loss to the Blue Jays.
With Wilson, Kyle Wright and recently-signed veteran Tanner Roark, the Braves have options to fill any rotation holes that could develop over the rest of the season.