The Braves’ youth movement continues, with right-handed pitcher Mike Soroka making his MLB debut Tuesday against the Mets.
Atlanta’s third-rated prospect, Soroka will pitch opposite Noah Syndergaard, and he’ll do so as the youngest pitcher in the majors. He’ll also give the Braves MLB’s three youngest players overall, with the right-hander (20 years, 270 days) sandwiched between Ronald Acuña Jr. (20 years, 134 days) and Ozzie Albies (21 years, 114 days).
Soroka jumping into the rotation gives scheduled starter Sean Newcomb and Julio Teheran — who was slated to start Wednesday, but left last Friday’s outing vs. the Phillies with upper trapezius tightness — an extra day of rest.
Soroka posted a 1.99 ERA with 24 strikeouts and five walks in 22 2/3 innings over four starts for Triple-A Gwinnett, going 2-0. He last pitched April 23, limiting Rochester to three hits over seven innings with four strikeouts and three walks.
Taken with the 28th pick in the first round the 2015 draft out of Calgary’s Bishop Carroll High School, Soroka was the Braves’ Minor League Pitcher of the Year last season after posting a 2.75 ERA over 153 2/3 innings with Double-A Mississippi. In all, Soroka appeared in 65 games (63 starts) with a 2.85 ERA, 311 strikeouts and 76 walks over 353 1/3 innings. He posted a 22-19 record.
His arrival will be the second major call-up for the Braves in a week, as Acuña — the team’s top-rated prospect — debuted last Wednesday vs. the Reds.
Soroka will be the Braves’ youngest starting pitcher to make his major league debut since Teheran did so on May 7, 2011 at 20 years, 100 days.
Since 1987, only five Atlanta starters pitched in their first game at 21 years, 145 days or younger: Tom Glavine (21 years, 145 days in 1987), John Smoltz (21 years, 69 days in 1988), Luiz Gohara (21 years, 37 days in 2017), Teheran and Steve Avery (20 years, 60 days in 1990).