Nationals

Soroka won’t pitch in 2021 after second Achilles tear

Nationals
Mike Soroka

The Braves’ rotation was dealt a significant blow Thursday when starter Mike Soroka “felt a pop” in the Achilles tendon he tore last year, the team announced Saturday. An MRI revealed a complete re-tear, forcing him to undergo surgery once again and miss the entire 2021 season.

Soroka, 23, tore the tendon three starts into the 2020 campaign and has been out ever since. He was an All-Star in 2019, when he finished as the runner-up to Pete Alonso in the NL Rookie of the Year race. He made 29 starts that season, posting a 2.68 ERA with 142 strikeouts.

Atlanta’s pitching staff is already down Max Fried (blister) and Huascar Ynoa (broken hand), though Fried is on track to come off the injured list Wednesday. They entered the season projected to have one of baseball’s best rotations but injuries and streakiness from Fried, Drew Smyly and Bryse Wilson have the Braves in the middle of the pack in most pitching categories.

The Braves enter play Sunday at 36-39, a game behind the Nationals and five back of the New York Mets for the NL East lead.