Atlanta Braves

Atlanta Braves make right, but painful decision with Mike Soroka

Atlanta Braves fans should be both disappointed and happy about the team’s decision to place talented pitcher Mike Soroka on the 60-day disabled list.

It would have been tempting for the Atlanta Braves to rush Mike Soroka’s return from the disabled list to help them maintain their place atop the NL East. Fortunately for the talented young pitcher, the Braves have decided that discretion is the better part of valor.

Instead of rushing him back, the team has elected to give him the time he needs to return to full health.

The team insists Soroka doesn’t have any structural damage to his pitching shoulder, but they’re still moving him from the 10-day to the 60-day disabled list.

It’s possible the information has more medical information than they’re letting on, but it could be a simple decision of trying to protect their young pitcher. Either way, the Braves deserve credit for making the best decision for Soroka’s long-term health.

The unfortunate part of al this is that Soroka was having a terrific season. The 20-year-old was looking like one of Atlanta’s top starters. He’d only managed to start give games on the year, but it will be difficult for the Braves to find another starter capable of replicating his ERA of 3.51.

Despite his youth, it’s very possible that Soroka’s injury will cost the Braves the NL East this season. They currently have a three game lead over the Phillies, but the Nationals are also lurking just 3.5 games back.

Washington’s pitching now gives them a clear advantage over the Braves for the remainder of the season.

It’s possible Atlanta could try to fill Soroka’s spot in the rotation via a trade, but the market for starting pitchers is exceedingly thin. It’s hard to imagine the Braves being willing to give up the sort of prospects that will be required to net a top-notch arm in advance of the trade deadline.

They could try to acquire a cheaper rental, but that may not be enough to keep them in front of their NL East competition.

No matter how you view it, Soroka’s injury is bad news for the Braves’ playoff hopes. The team deserves a lot of credit for making the painful choice to put him on the 60-day DL, but it could easily cost them playoff glory this season.

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