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MLB Rumors: Despite loss to Dodgers, a major Braves roster move could be looming

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Braves pitcher Mike Soroka. (John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports)

Braves pitcher Mike Soroka. (John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports)

The Atlanta Braves lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday night, but that wasn’t the only major development within the organization.

Atlanta’s starting rotation deficiency is a well-known fact at this point. Max Fried and Kyle Wright are out long-term, with a mid-July return date for the former as the earliest we’ll see either NL Cy Young candidate.

Spencer Strider, Charlie Morton and Bryce Elder have filled in admirably so far. Jared Shuster is coming off the best start of his young career, earning at least one more trip through the rotation. But, to avoid more bullpen games, the Braves need another starting pitcher.

So, why not Michael Soroka?

The former Atlanta All-Star has dealt with some tough injury luck in recent years, but after an impressive spring, he’s looking to make his way back to the big-league club. The Braves have been cautious with him, and rightly so. But on Tuesday night he had arguably his best Gwinnett start to date.

MLB Rumors: Should the Braves call up Michael Soroka?

Prior to his start over a week ago, Soroka admitted he keeps one eye on Atlanta.

“Obviously, when you see a spot open you think, “That’s me. It’s my time,’” Soroka said, per The Athletic. “But I know at the end of the day it’s about doing my job and letting that take care of itself. I know I have the support of the organization. They’re giving me that time. I can’t say if it’s one more start or two or five. I think it’s going to be pretty obvious when it’s time. Today was good and even last week in Nashville was good after the home run in the first. The hope is that when I go up there I never look back.”

That mindset won’t change given what occurred on Tuesday. Soroka went six innings and gave up just one run. A call from Alex Anthopoulos is the only thing separating Soroka from another major-league opportunity.

Really encouraging start by Soroka tonight in Triple A: 6 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 8 K, 96 pitches/58 strikes. Could be in #Braves rotation before much longer.

— David O’Brien (@DOBrienATL) May 24, 2023

The Braves have been smart with Soroka, but he’s earned his chance.

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