Braves' Soroka sidelined by shoulder soreness

No. 24 overall prospect experiencing discomfort, out for a week

Mike Soroka has posted a career 1.09 WHIP over four Minor League seasons (361 1/3 innings). (Steven Goldburg/Norfolk Tides)

By Sam Dykstra / MiLB.com | February 28, 2019 7:00 PM

The biggest concerns about Mike Soroka entering Spring Training surrounded his shoulder. For the time being, those worries will continue.

MLB.com's No. 24 overall prospect has been shut down after experiencing right shoulder discomfort, Braves manager Brian Snitker told reporters -- including MLB.com's Mark Bowman -- last Friday.

"I think he'll be fine," Snitker said. "Everything checks out fine. His strength is fine. Nothing is wrong. It's just some tendinitis that probably barked up. When that happens, it's best to shut them down a little bit and keep doing the exercises. Then, we'll get him going."

Video: Gwinnett's Soroka polishes off complete game

Soroka cleared an initial hurdle Thursday when he experienced no discomfort after being cleared to play catch. However, he is still at least a week away from climbing a mound and could potentially be unavailable until mid-April, according to MLB.com

The 21-year-old right-hander did not pitch in a game after June 19 last season due to shoulder issues. The Braves had planned to take it easy with Soroka this spring as a result, but allowed him to ramp up after experiencing no pain in bullpen sessions. That changed earlier this week when he felt pain following a side session which, according to Bowman, followed problems with the shoulder he'd experienced after lifting weights last month. Soroka, however, has passed all the strength tests given from Atlanta's medical team, which has eased Snitker's mind.

"They're just going to slow play him now," Snitker said. "You know how they do it -- if something gets tweaked, there are boxes to check and you have to go through the timeline. But I think, a week from now, he'll be back out there throwing sides and getting ready to pitch in games."

Soroka climbed quickly to the Majors last season, making his debut on May after only four starts with Triple-A Gwinnett. He finished with a 2.00 ERA, 31 strikeouts and six walks in his 27 innings overall with the Stripers and posted a 3.51 ERA with 21 K's in 25 2/3 innings over five National League starts. The 6-foot-5 hurler has three above-average pitches in his fastball, slider and changeup and gets the most of that mix with stellar control. When healthy, he profiles as a Major League starter, even in a Braves system loaded with pitching. 

Sam Dykstra is a reporter for MiLB.com. Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @SamDykstraMiLB. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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