Michael Soroka is the next man up for the Atlanta Braves as he will make his first appearance in the majors since the end of July Tuesday night against the St. Louis Cardinals. The Braves rotation has proven to be deep this season as they have navigated injuries to Max Fried and Kyle Wright while also operating with a revolving door in the fifth starter spot. Fried is back and pitching well while Wright will make his third rehab appearance Tuesday for Gwinnett. With things improving, the Braves have utilized the fifth spot as an opportunity to get the rest of their rotation rest.
Atlanta has used 16 different starting pitchers this season and that depth has been one of the less talked about keys to their season.
“It’s been great. I know we have talked about it,” Brian Snitker said of the pitching depth before Tuesday’s game. “We’ve used every bit of it too, I think. I don’t know that there’s anybody down there that’s available that we haven’t used. We will continue to use them the rest of the month.”
“We started talking about it in February when we started pitcher-catcher camp. The importance of it in the organization and like I say, we’ve used every bit of it that we’ve had. They’ve all been a part and I think they’ve all won games. They’ve all helped us win, and it’s really a good thing.”
Soroka has made six appearances at the major league level this season and has shown flashes, but has largely struggled. He has settled in nicely in a regular routine at Triple A which is no small feat given the long layoff he had thanks to not one, but two Achilles injuries. Soroka was named Pitcher of the Month for the International League Tuesday.
“I’m glad he was in line to do this because it will be nice to see him again after being away for a little bit,” Snitker said. “He was named the International League Pitcher of the Month so he’s obviously throwing really well. Now’s a good time to get him up here.”
Snitker added that the reports on Soroka in the minors have been good. The Braves have done their best to manage his workload throughout the season, but it is notable that he has been healthy since the start of the season.
“He’s had to make some adjustments and some tweaks delivery wise and things like that,” Snitker said. “After you take that much time off and go through what he did and it’s kinda like you’re not exactly the same guy and you have to adjust. I think he’s done a great job of that. I know in talking to him, he’s had a great outlook on everything and been very positive and it’s good for him. It’s not an easy thing to get through the injuries, and coming back like this.”
A rest day for Orlando Arcia
Orlando Arcia is out of the Braves lineup for Tuesday’s game, but Snitker said that it was just a scheduled day off. That is notable given how few off days Atlanta’s regular get or take.
“Yeah, I told him the other day, I’ve been trying to give you a day off and every time I do, you hit a game winning homer the night before and it’s hard to put you down,” Snitker said of Arcia. “This is his first time to play all these games in a while and I wanted to give Nicky a chance at short a little bit. He’ll be obviously be available off the bench and like I say, you’re just not starting doesn’t mean you aren’t going to play.”
Arcia has appeared in 115 games and has put together a career-best season at the plate hitting .280/.334/.450 with 17 home runs and a 111 wRC+. He has anchored Atlanta’s infield defense and filled the hole left by the departure of Dansby Swanson seamlessly. He’s also signed through the 2025 season and has a club option for 2026 with an average annual value of $2.4 million.
“Yeah, just coming back and being an everyday guy again. It’s been awesome,” Snitker answered when asked if Arcia had surpassed preseason expectations. “I look up offensively what he’s doing and how he’s held. I mean, it’s not a short sample size anymore. It’s a real good season, strong season and I’m glad that we’ve got him for a couple more year because I don’t see him slowing down any. He’s such a well-liked guy. The energy, the routine, just the makeup, the whole thing. He’s been really good. We probably got a more matured version of Orlando from when he left Milwaukee as an everyday guy, prospect type guy.”