680 THE FAN, ATLANTA – With ten days to go until the Braves open up the regular season in New York, we now know we will see Mike Soroka take on the two-time reigning Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom on Opening Day at Citi Field. Brian Snitker made the announcement prior to Tuesday evenings intrasquad scrimmage at Truist Park. On Monday, Soroka had another impressive outing in scrimmage action, and it was all but inevitable he would be given the honor of starting the first game of the 60 game sprint this season.
“To be honest with you, my stuff’s never felt better” Soroka said on his Zoom press conference after last night’s action. “I felt as good as I ever had” Soroka added. As a 21 year old, the righthander made 29 starts and finished the year with 174.2 innings pitched, tied with Julio Teheran for the most on the club. Of those 29 outings last season, Soroka allowed one earned or none fifteen times. In addition, Soroka had just four starts where he allowed more than three earned runs. Soroka’s 2.68 ERA was the lowest by a rookie in the Majors since Miami’s Jose Fernandez posted a 2.19 in 28 starts in 2013. In addition, that ERA was the third lowest by any Braves rookie in the live-ball era , trailing just Jim Turner (2.38, 1920) and Nate Andrews (2.57, 1943).
On July 24th, Soroka will become the first player NOT named Julio Teheran to start a season opener for the Braves since Tim Hudson in 2013. In addition, Soroka becomes the youngest player in franchise history to get the honor of making an Opening Day start. And as fate would have it, Soroka’s first career Opening Day nod will come at Citi Field, the place he made his MLB debut on May 1, 2018.
Kevin McAlpin has covered the Braves since 2012 for @680TheFan and the @BravesRadioNet.