March 20, 2023
By Kevin Glew
Cooperstowners in Canada
The Oakland A’s reassigned outfielder Denzel Clarke (Pickering, Ont.) to their minor league camp on Sunday.
Selected by the A’s in the fourth round of the 2021 MLB draft from the Cal State Northridge Matadors, Clarke recorded a .365 on-base percentage (OBP) and hit 15 home runs and had 30 stolen bases in 93 games between class-A Stockton and Lansing last season.
The Junior National Team and Toronto Mets alum also became the first player in pro baseball history to hit inside-the-park homers in back-to-back games when he did so for Lansing on August 2 and August 3.
Clarke has experience at all three outfield positions but has been used mostly as a centre fielder.
He recently played three games for Canada at the World Baseball Classic, going 0-for-8 with a walk, hit by pitch and a stolen base.
The A’s also reassigned left-handed pitcher Jake Fishman, right-handed pitcher Rico Garcia, catcher Tyler Soderstrom and infielder Zack Gelof to minor league camp and agreed to terms with catcher Carlos Perez on a minor league contract.
The A’s now have 36 players remaining in big league camp, including 31 players on their 40-man roster and five non-roster invitees.
Soroka to start for Braves on Wednesday
Right-hander Mike Soroka (Calgary, Alta.) will make his first start of the Grapefruit League season for the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday against the Detroit Tigers, according to David O’Brien, of The Athletic.
The Braves righty threw a two-inning batting practice session on Friday and participated in Pitchers Fielding Practice (PFP) drills on Wednesday. This is all good news for the 25-year-old right-hander who had been sidelined this spring with tightness in his left hamstring.
Soroka has not pitched in a major league game since tearing his Achilles tendon in a start for the Braves on August 3, 2020. He then re-tore his Achilles the following June. After two years of recovery and rehabilitation, Soroka returned to game action in August last year and posted a 5.40 ERA in six late-season starts between class-A and triple-A before being shut down with elbow inflammation.
A graduate of the Junior National Team, Soroka was a first-round pick (28th overall) of the Braves in 2015. In 2019, he went 13-4 with a 2.68 ERA in 29 starts and finished second in the National League Rookie of the Year voting.