Before beginning a Zoom session with reporters on Friday, Braves manager Brian Snitker apologized for prematurely ruling Mike Soroka out for the season. He made the mistake while appearing on MLB Network’s “High Heat” a few hours earlier.
“I messed up today when I was on that little TV show with Mad Dog [Chris Russo],” Snitker said. “Soroka does have a chance of getting back, and I didn’t think he did. So that was my fault. I created a firestorm with all of that.”
While talking to Russo on “High Heat,” Snitker said, “He’s down for the year, and, hopefully, we’ll get him back next year.”
It has seemed unlikely Soroka will pitch this season. But a person familiar with the situation responded to Snitker’s comments on the show by saying Soroka’s status will not be determined until his right Achilles tendon is re-evaluated in two weeks.
“We’re going to know more then,” Snitker said. “I just assumed when I saw him riding around on that scooter, there wasn’t a chance. But I got that wrong. I screwed up. It’s not the first, and it won’t be the last.”
Snitker said he called Soroka on Friday afternoon to apologize for likely causing “his phone to blow up.”
Soroka tore his right Achilles tendon on Aug. 3 and then developed right shoulder inflammation while making what was essentially his second preseason start in April. After he resumed throwing a few weeks later, he felt discomfort around his ankle while simply walking.
Dr. Robert Anderson removed some scar tissue while performing exploratory surgery on Soroka’s Achilles on May 17. At that time, it was revealed the club would have to wait a month before knowing whether the 23-year-old pitcher would be available at any point this season.
Soroka proved to be one of the game’s top pitchers when he posted a 2.68 ERA over 29 regular-season starts in 2019. Injuries have significantly marred the career of the young hurler, who has made just 37 starts since debuting about a month into the 2018 season.