Spring Training is upon us and the Atlanta Braves really only have a few spots up for grabs on the roster. The one question that remains is with the Braves pitching and who will be the fifth starter.
The Atlanta Braves seem set with Max Fried, Spencer Strider, Charlie Morton and Kyle Wright to fill the first four spots of the rotation, so that leaves the fifth spot.
Will it go to Michael Soroka, Ian Anderson, or someone like Bryce Elder? Of course, you also have to take into account the unpredictable like Spencer Strider in 2022 solidifying himself in the rotation.
But we’ll ignore that possibility for the sake of this and look at the tale of the tape.
Soroka has had a string of bad luck over the last few years. He’s torn his Achilles twice, suffered elbow soreness in 2022, and now is dealing with yet another injury.
The injury to the former All-Star, who went 13-4 with a 2.68 ERA in 2019, isn’t seen as that big of a deal, but for someone who has dealt with one thing after another since April 2020, this isn’t encouraging news.
At the tail end of 2022, Soroka pitched a game for Rome in which he threw four innings, striking out eight of the first nine batters he faced, giving Braves’ fans some hope that he had returned to form.
But then there were his starts in Gwinnett, which were inconsistent at best. His first two starts in Gwinnett spanned eight innings, where he gave up 10 hits, six runs and only struck out three.
Then, Soroka dazzled on September 2 when he went four innings, giving up one hit and striking out five. But then fell off again in his last two starts of the year when he gave up nine hits and nine runs in nine innings while striking out nine.
Of course, part of that can be attributed to the last two-and-a-half years, but the inconsistency is still a concern, especially because he showed he could be dominant in two of his six outings.
With that said, Kristen Wong wrote about how the hamstring shouldn’t be that much of an issue, keeping Soroka as the favorite to land this spot.