May 29, 2023
By Kevin Glew
Cooperstowners in Canada
Right-hander Michael Soroka has been called up by the Atlanta Braves and will start his first regular season major league game in 1,029 days on Monday when he pitches against the Oakland A’s.
The Braves officially announced Soroka’s promotion on Monday morning.
“To go through everything he’s been through and now to get back is really a feather in that kid’s cap,” Braves manager Brian Snitker told reporters last night about Soroka’s big league return.
Last Tuesday, Soroka (Calgary, Alta.) enjoyed one of his best starts of the season with the triple-A Gwinnett Braves, allowing just one run on two hits, while striking out eight, in six innings against the Durham Bulls to earn the win.
It was the 25-year-old righty’s eighth start for the Stripers in 2023. He had a 4.33 ERA and 35 strikeouts in 35 1/3 innings in those starts.
While many Braves fans have been anxiously anticipating Soroka’s promotion, the Braves took a cautious approach with the Canadian right-hander who due to several injury setbacks has not pitched in a regular season big league game in nearly three years.
Soroka was sidelined for much of this spring with tightness in his left hamstring. After initially tearing his right Achilles tendon on August 3, 2020, Soroka then re-tore it 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 Calgary Redbirds and 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.
Soroka is set to become the 13th Canadian to play in the major leagues this season. Baseball Canada has a complete list of current Canadian big leaguers here.