Mike Soroka

Michael John Graydon Soroka (born August 4, 1997) is a Canadian professional baseball pitcher who has played for the Atlanta Braves of Major League Baseball (MLB) since 2018. A native of Calgary, Soroka graduated from Bishop Carroll High School. He was drafted 28th overall by the Atlanta Braves in 2015, and he spent portions of four seasons in the minor leagues before being called up to the Braves.

Mike Soroka
Soroka in 2019
Atlanta Braves – No. 40
Born: (1997-08-04) August 4, 1997
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
MLB debut
May 1, 2018, for the Atlanta Braves
MLB statistics
(through August 3, 2020)
Win–loss record15–6
Earned run average2.86
Career highlights and awards

Soroka was an MLB All-Star in 2019, and he finished second in National League Rookie of the Year Award voting.[1] In 2020, he became the Braves' youngest Opening Day starter in the team's modern history,[2] before an injury on August 3 ended his 2020 season.[3]

Early life

Soroka was born on August 4, 1997, in Calgary, Alberta, the son of Gary, a former university and junior hockey player, and Sally Soroka; he has two stepsisters.[1] Soroka's mother died in 2010 of melanoma[4] when he was 12.[5][6]

He attended Bishop Carroll High School in Calgary,[7] and was a goalie in youth hockey before deciding to concentrate on baseball.[1] He pitched for the junior national team, coached by Chris Reitsma, a fellow Canadian baseball pitcher who was also his mentor.[1][8] Reitsma has noted Soroka's physical similarity with himself.[9] By his senior year, Soroka has committed to play college baseball for the University of California, Berkeley with scholarship. Prior to the 2015 draft, he was ranked 88th in Baseball America's annual rankings of prospects.[9]


Minor League Baseball

He later reported to the GCL Braves, where he posted a 1.80 ERA in ten innings pitched before being reassigned to the Danville Braves, where he finished the season, going 0–2 with a 3.75 ERA in six starts. Soroka spent the 2016 season with the Rome Braves.[10] There, he posted a 9–9 record with a 3.02 ERA.[11]

Soroka spent 2017 with the Mississippi Braves,[12][13][14] posting an 11–8 record with a 2.75 ERA in 153.2 inning pitched. As one of the youngest players in Double-A, Soroka participated in the All-Star Futures Game in July.[15][16] He began the 2018 season with the Gwinnett Stripers of the Class AAA International League,[17] posting a 1.99 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 24 strikeouts, and five walks over four starts.[18]

2018: MLB debut

On May 1, 2018, the Braves promoted Soroka to the major leagues.[19][20] He faced the New York Mets that night, pitching six innings, yielding one run and recording five strikeouts.[21] He began feeling inflammation in his right shoulder after May 12. Soroka brought them forward as being abnormal, and was placed on the disabled list soon thereafter.[22] Rehabilitation in the minor leagues followed throughout June.[23] Because inflammation continued to be a problem, Soroka returned to the ten-day disabled list later that month.[24] On June 27, he was transferred to the 60-day disabled list.[25] In July, it was reported that Soroka would be permitted to begin a throwing regimen by the middle of August.[26] However, in late August, Braves manager Brian Snitker stated that Soroka would miss the remainder of the season.[27][28] Overall with the 2018 Braves, Soroka registered five starts, a 2–1 record, 3.51 ERA, and 21 strikeouts in 2523 innings pitched.

2019: All-Star and All-MLB team season

Before the 2019 season began, Soroka was expected to be one of several pitching prospects to spend some time in the Braves' starting rotation.[29][30] During the first week of spring training, Soroka disclosed shoulder discomfort first felt during an offseason workout in January 2019.[31][32] Soroka maintained that the newly reported discomfort was a right trapezius strain, not an issue with his right scapula, which affected him during his debut season.[33][34] Soroka was cleared to play catch in mid-March,[35] followed by throwing batting practice.[36] Soroka was sent to minor league camp without appearing in a spring training game.[37][38] Soroka made his season debut against the Arizona Diamondbacks on April 18, 2019, and became the youngest pitcher in the National League upon taking the mound.[39] When he was placed on the National League Roster for the 2019 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, Soroka set another age-related record, as the youngest Atlanta Braves pitcher to be named an all-star.[40] That year, the Braves became the first team to send two players younger than 22 to the All-Star Game, as both Soroka and Ronald Acuña Jr. received that honor in 2019.[41] In the 2019 season, Soroka registered 29 starts, a 13–4 record, 2.68 ERA, and 142 strikeouts in 17423 innings. He was runner-up in NL Rookie of the Year voting to Mets first baseman Pete Alonso,[42] and he placed sixth in NL Cy Young Voting.[43] He was selected to the All-MLB Second Team for that year.

2020: Youngest Opening Day starter for the Braves, injury

Soroka opened the shortened season for the Braves on July 24, 2020, pitching six scoreless innings against the New York Mets, being the youngest Opening Day starting pitcher in the team's modern history, with the age of 22 years and 354 days.[44][45] On August 3, Soroka unexpectedly tumbled to the ground after throwing his 48th pitch of the game. He began limping and knelt down to await medical attention. Unable to walk off alone, he was helped off the field and left the game. He had torn his Achilles' tendon, prematurely ending his 2020 season.[46] With the 2020 Braves, Soroka registered three starts, a 0–1 record, 3.95 ERA, and eight strikeouts in 13+23 innings.[47]

2021–2023: Injuries and rehabilitation

Soroka's salary for the 2021 season was set at $2.8 million after an arbitration hearing.[48][49] He began the 2021 season on the 60-day injured list in an effort to continue rehab from Achilles surgery he had last year.[50] He had a setback while recovering and was forced to undergo a second surgery on his Achilles.[51] In an interview with MLB Network, Atlanta Braves manager Brian Snitker stated that Soroka would miss the 2021 season.[52] However, Snitker backtracked the next day, saying that Soroka was not out for the season and would be reevaluated in two weeks.[53]

While walking back to the clubhouse on June 24, Soroka suffered a complete re-tear of his Achilles, effectively ending his season.[54] The Braves finished with an 88–73 record, winning the NL East championship and the 2021 World Series, giving the Braves their first title since 1995.[55]

Soroka and the Braves agreed to a contract worth $2.8 million for the 2022 season.[56] After the 2022 season ended, Soroka agreed to another one-year, $2.8 million contract for 2023.[57]

See also


  1. Singh, David (2019). ""This Kid's Got Something": How the mentorship of a former big-leaguer helped set Braves hurler Mike Soroka on course for MLB stardom". Sportsnet. Retrieved 6 April 2020.
  2. "Soroka named Braves' Opening Day starter". MLB.com. July 14, 2020. Retrieved July 24, 2020.
  3. "Mike Soroka helped off field after 2 1/3 innings". MLB. Retrieved August 3, 2020.
  4. Singh, David. "THIS KID'S GOT SOMETHING". Sportsnet. Retrieved August 4, 2020.
  5. Cruickshank, Scott (June 14, 2019). "Thanks to his dad, Mike Soroka is respectful yet relentless and set for success". The Athletic. Retrieved August 4, 2020.
  6. Schultz, Jeff (July 19, 2020). "Schultz: Mike Soroka's uncommon cool, inner strength have fueled his rise". The Athletic. Retrieved August 4, 2020.
  7. O'Brien, David (June 8, 2015). "Canadian high-school pitcher is Braves' second pick". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved April 17, 2021.
  8. Bowman, Mark (June 8, 2015). "Canadian hurler selected No. 28 by Braves". MLB.com. Retrieved June 9, 2015.
  9. Cruickshank, Scott (June 5, 2015). "Calgary pitcher eagerly awaits MLB draft". Calgary Herald. Retrieved June 9, 2015.
  10. "Seven Run Third Inning Gives Braves Opening Win". MILB.com. April 8, 2016. Retrieved August 14, 2016.
  11. Cooper, J. J. (April 2, 2017). "Braves Jumping Mike Soroka, Kolby Allard To Double-A". Baseball America. Retrieved April 11, 2017.
  12. Rosenbaum, Mike (April 11, 2017). "Soroka's debut leads top prospects Monday". MLB.com. Retrieved April 11, 2017.
  13. Parker, Brendan (February 8, 2017). "Calgary pitcher, Atlanta Braves draft pick Mike Soroka climbing ranks among MLB prospects". Global News. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
  14. "Soroka excelling with Braves' double-A affiliate". The Record. June 14, 2017. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
  15. McKenna, Ryan (June 14, 2017). "Atlanta Braves eye Canadian Mike Soroka as future ace". Toronto Star. The Canadian Press. Retrieved August 30, 2018.
  16. O'Brien, David. "Acuna, Soroka selected to play in All-Star Futures Game". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
  17. Gilberto, Gerard (April 7, 2018). "Stripers' Soroka shines in Triple-A debut". MILB.com. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
  18. "Braves promote Soroka for MLB debut". MILB.com. May 1, 2019. Retrieved March 13, 2019.
  19. "Braves promote Soroka for MLB debut". MILB.com. May 1, 2019. Retrieved March 13, 2019.
  20. Bowman, Mark (May 1, 2018). "Braves prospect Soroka to debut vs. Mets". MLB.com. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
  21. Ladson, Bill (May 1, 2018). "Soroka spins 6 sharp frames in MLB debut". MLB.com. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
  22. Bowman, Mark (May 30, 2018). "Soroka understands the need for DL stint". MLB.com. Retrieved August 29, 2018.
  23. Bowman, Mark (June 2, 2018). "Soroka on schedule for two more rehab starts". MLB.com. Retrieved August 29, 2018.
  24. Bowman, Mark (June 22, 2018). "Right shoulder woes land Soroka back on DL". MLB.com. Retrieved August 29, 2018.
  25. Bowman, Mark (June 27, 2018). "Soroka moved to 60-day DL; Acuna back Friday". MLB.com. Retrieved August 29, 2018.
  26. Bowman, Mark (July 23, 2018). "Braves hopeful for Soroka, Vizcaino returns". MLB.com. Retrieved August 29, 2018.
  27. "Injured Braves starter Mike Soroka won't return this season". ESPN.com. Associated Press. August 29, 2018. Retrieved August 29, 2018.
  28. Burns, Gabriel (August 29, 2018). "Mike Soroka won't pitch in another game this season". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved August 30, 2018.
  29. Bowman, Mark (January 19, 2019). "Acuna would prefer to stay at leadoff for Braves". MLB.com. Retrieved March 30, 2019.
  30. Bowman, Mark (January 28, 2019). "Soroka ready to move on from 2018 injuries". MLB.com. Retrieved March 30, 2019.
  31. Burns, Gabriel (February 24, 2019). "Mike Soroka shut down following shoulder discomfort". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved March 30, 2019.
  32. Bowman, Mark (February 22, 2019). "Soroka shut down with shoulder discomfort". MLB.com. Retrieved March 30, 2019.
  33. Bowman, Mark (February 25, 2019). "Shoulder concerning, but Soroka optimistic". MLB.com. Retrieved March 30, 2019.
  34. Burns, Gabriel (February 24, 2019). "Mike Soroka blames shoulder discomfort on 'overload'". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved March 30, 2019.
  35. Burns, Gabriel (March 15, 2019). "Ailing Braves pitchers progressing, but uncertainty remains". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved March 30, 2019.
  36. Burns, Gabriel (March 17, 2019). "Soroka makes it through batting practice session pain free". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved March 30, 2019.
  37. "Braves' pitching rotation murky as season nears". ESPN.com. Associated Press. March 20, 2019. Retrieved March 30, 2019.
  38. Burns, Gabriel (March 28, 2019). "Soroka, Gohara throwing, but no timetables". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved March 30, 2019.
  39. Tucker, Tim (April 18, 2019). "Leadoff: Soroka's return and other things to know about Braves' rotation". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved July 3, 2019.
  40. Langs, Sarah (June 30, 2019). "Soroka sets club record as Braves' 3rd All-Star". MLB.com. Retrieved July 3, 2019.
  41. Burns, Gabriel (June 30, 2019). "Mike Soroka becomes youngest Braves pitcher to make All-Star team". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  42. Bowman, Mark (November 11, 2019). "Soroka finishes 2nd in NL ROY vote". MLB.com. Retrieved November 12, 2019.
  43. "Here are the Cy Young Award vote totals". MLB.com. Retrieved November 15, 2019.
  44. "Soroka named Braves' Opening Day starter". MLB.com. July 14, 2020. Retrieved July 24, 2020.
  45. "Sharp Soroka 'just continues to get better'". MLB.com. July 24, 2020. Retrieved July 24, 2020.
  46. "Mike Soroka helped off field after 2 1/3 innings". MLB. Retrieved August 3, 2020.
  47. "Mike Soroka Stats".
  48. "Pitcher Mike Soroka and Braves argue salary arbitration case". USA Today. Associated Press. February 12, 2021. Retrieved March 19, 2022. Republished as: "Pitcher Mike Soroka and Braves argue salary arbitration case". Seattle Times. Associated Press. February 12, 2021. Retrieved March 19, 2022.
  49. Burns, Gabriel (February 13, 2021). "Mike Soroka wins arbitration case over Braves". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved March 19, 2022.
  50. Bowman, Mark (April 30, 2021). "Braves get Newcomb back in 'pen". MLB.com. Retrieved March 19, 2022.
  51. "Braves' Mike Soroka has setback, to have second Achilles surgery". NBCSports. 12 May 2021.
  52. Franco, Anthony. "Braves Mike Soroka Out For Season". MLB Trade Rumors.
  53. "Atlanta Braves manager backtracks, says pitcher Mike Soroka will be re-evaluated in two weeks". ESPN.com. 28 May 2021.
  54. "Atlanta Braves' Mike Soroka unlikely to pitch in 2021 after tearing Achilles tendon again". ESPN.com. Associated Press. June 26, 2021. Retrieved June 26, 2021.
  55. "Atlanta Braves win 2021 World Series". MLB.com. Retrieved November 2, 2021.
  56. Bowman, Mark (March 17, 2022). "Braves, Soroka avoid arbitration with one-year deal". Retrieved March 19, 2022.
  57. Ladson, Bill (November 19, 2022). "Braves sign Matzek, Soroka, non-tender 5 others". Retrieved November 22, 2022.
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