There was a change in plans for Braves pitcher Luiz Gohara’s first injury-rehab start Tuesday, which will now be with Double-A Mississippi instead of Triple-A Gwinnett.
Braves manager Brian Snitker announced the change Sunday. The switch was made because top pitching prospect Mike Soroka’s next start for Gwinnett is Tuesday and the Braves didn’t want to disrupt Soroka’s routine by having him follow Gohara in that game.
Soroka, 20, is 1-0 with a 1.69 ERA in his first two starts in Triple-A. Rated as the No. 27 prospect in Baseball America’s Top 100, he has 13 strikeouts with one walk in 10-2/3 innings for Gwinnett after impressing everyone in his first major league spring training. The Canadian right-hander could make his major league debut at some point this season.
Gohara is scheduled to throw four innings or about 60-65 pitches in the first of what’s expected to be at least a few minor league rehab starts for the big rookie left-hander. He’s been on the disabled list since opening day recovering from an ankle sprain sustained during spring training and could be ready to pitch in the majors at some point in early May.
Gohara, 21, has been rehabbing in Florida at extended spring training since the Braves broke camp. He was expected to be in the opening-day rotation before two injuries prevented him from pitching in any spring-training games. He had a strained groin in the first week of camp and sprained his ankle two days before he was set to make his first Grapefruit League start.
Snitker said there is no plan in place to bump anyone from the current rotation to make room for Gohara when he’s ready. The Braves will wait to see what happens before then, and if no other pitcher gets hurt or slumps, “If nothing happens and we have too much pitching, that’s a great problem to have,” Snitker said.
Veteran Anibal Sanchez, a late-spring signee who moved into the fifth-starter role, pitched six scoreless innings in a win Friday against the Cubs to move to 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA in three games including two starts.