Atlanta Braves pitcher Mike Soroka was forced to leave Monday’s game against the New York Mets with a leg injury, with fears that it could be a potentially season-ending Achilles tear.
Soroka stumbled awkwardly while trying to cover first base on a ground ball, falling to the ground in pain and later limping back toward the dugout before ultimately going back to the ground. He was later helped off the field and seemed to be unable to use any pressure when walking.
While there has not yet been an official word on the extent of Soroka’s injured lower leg, there were some initial fears that it could have been a torn Achilles.
I'm afraid that looks like Achilles tendon, just the way Soroka went down and couldn't walk off without assistance.
— David O'Brien (@DOBrienATL) August 3, 2020
You can see something in Mike Soroka’s right calf/achilles area pop before he went down to the ground.
Really hope this kid is okay ???????? pic.twitter.com/8dJ3P0kWvS
— Danny Vietti (@DannyVietti) August 4, 2020
If the snap diagnosis is correct, it would likely cut the season short for the promising young pitcher. As Talking Chop noted, he is coming off an impressive rookie season in which he finished second in National League Rookie of the Year voting and was among those voted in the Cy Young race. He started off the abbreviated 2020 campaign with a 1.59 ERA and a WHIP below 1 through his first two games, though struggled earlier against the Mets by allowing four earned runs on three hits and four walks.
The Braves — winners of the NL East in each of the last two seasons — are off to a 7-3 start this year and in control of the division once again. Soroka appeared to be the centerpiece of a rotation that seemed capable of a deep playoff run, though any extended absence for him would likely force the team to pull in help to round out the rotation.
As the Talking Chop report noted, it was too early to begin speculating about how long he could be out, but it looks to be an especially difficult break for the team given the shortened season and the added importance of each game.
“Now, it is worth mentioning that we don’t know for sure what Soroka’s injury is, but the vast preponderance of folks who have seen injuries like this seem to believe its a severe Achilles injury which would be a gut punch both for a young pitcher on the verge of stardom as well as an organization that already has its fair share of starting pitching woes,” the report noted.
The Braves are expected to give a more detailed prognosis of Soroka’s injured leg after he has been examined by team medical staff and doctors, which will likely be Tuesday at the earliest.