The Braves face a difficult task this week against the Mets. who will feature Noah Syndergaard on Tuesday and Jacob deGrom on Wednesday, and currently sit atop the NL East by 11⁄2 games over Atlanta. The Braves will counter with Sean Newcomb and Julio Teheran, respectively, before a Thursday showdown between Mike Foltynewicz and Jason Vargas. This should be an interesting series, if nothing else, as the Braves bring their high-octane offense into Citi Field to face a couple of dynamic arms.
Among the litany of arms possessed by the Braves at this point, right-hander Mike Soroka is the best, according to Eric Cole. After an impressive spring that saw hi mow down major league lineups, Soroka has been equally impressive in his first stint with Triple-A Gwinnett, posting a 1.99 ERA and allowing batters to hit just .207 against him in his five starts this season. Soroka made headlines on Sunday after being scratched from his minor league start due to the possibility that he might be called upon to make a major league start due to a Julio Teheran. Eric has long been one of the 20-year-old’s most proactive supporters, with several impressive interviews being posted here at Talking Chop. The Braves may not recall Soroka this week, but as Eric says, he is nearly ready.
While some are disappointed that he wasn’t promoted yesterday, I would wager that Mike Soroka will be a member of the Braves’ rotation sooner rather than later. There is no question that he has been on the very fast track to the major leagues, but all the guy has done is impress (almost) everyone that sees him pitch and work. Braves manager Brian Snitker pretty clearly wanted to stash him in his luggage in Spring Training rather than send him back to minor league camp. His performance in an admittedly small sample size in Triple-A has done nothing to temper that excitement as he has made the far more experience/seasoned competition look easy.
In this week’s Inbox, Braves beat writer Mark Bowman answers fan questions regarding the new-look lineup, future spending power, and two young players fighting for relevancy at the major league level. Maybe the most consequential issue addressed in this Inbox is the report that Atlanta will have a budget similar to the one they operate within currently.
When the Matt Kemp trade was made, I projected Atlanta could have up to $80 million to spend this offseason. A team official later indicated the figure might be closer to $30 million-$50 million. More recently, I’ve heard the team will likely have at least $50 million to use as they peruse the upcoming offseason’s talent-rich free-agent market and address multiple needs, which could include third base, catcher and right field.
The reigning National League champions took a significant hit on Monday with the news that star shortstop Corey Seager would undergo Tommy John Surgery, which will sideline hi for the remainder of the season. Seager is one of the brightest young players in the game, and his absence will be a huge hole for a team already struggling out of the gate.