Braves right-handed pitcher Michael Soroka's season is over due to a right forearm injury, the team announced, but there is a bit of silver lining here: his injury won't require surgery this time. Whenever someone can avoid the knife, that's good news.
In Soroka's case, it's especially good news, of course. Remember, his career was derailed with a torn Achilles on Aug. 3, 2020. He had surgery to repair it, but due to a setback during his rehab, needed a second surgery. All told, the Achilles injury during Soroka's third start in 2020 cost him the rest of that season plus the next two.
Soroka was finally able to return to the major-league mound this season. He made seven appearances, six of them starts, pitching to a 6.40 ERA and 1.49 WHIP in 32 1/3 innings. After his last outing, numbness in his fingers on his pitching hand was reported. According to the Associated Press, the Braves athletic training staff has determined that there's forearm inflammation but nothing is torn. He'll be shut down before rehabbing his arm back into shape in the future, likely just prior to spring training in 2024.
"He's done for the year. It's not anything he's going to have time to come back from," manager Brian Snitker said after Wednesday's game. "He'll be shut down and then he can kind of concentrate, when he gets ready, on his offseason program."
Soroka, 26, was an up-and-coming star before his 2020 injury. He finished second in NL Rookie of the Year voting and sixth in Cy Young voting in 2019. He was 13-4 with a 2.68 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and 142 strikeouts in 174 2/3 innings that season and then was the Braves' Opening Day starter in 2020.