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Mattress backstop in hallway has Calgary's Soroka ready for eventual start of MLB season
CALGARY -- As a pitcher in the major leagues, Mike Soroka of the Atlanta Braves has to keep his arm in shape.
Fresh off a 2019 campaign where he was named to the National League All Star team and finished with a 13-4 record, the big righty from Calgary has returned to Atlanta to get ready for the eventual start of the 2020 MLB season.
"Me and another guy have been going out and obviously taking the proper precautions,” Soroka told CTV News in a FaceTime interview. "We make sure we’re away from a lot of people. For the most part we’re already self-isolated. Between the two of us we meet and play catch. You know we sanitize the ball before and afterwards."
The weather in Atlanta doesn't always cooperate with Soroka's training. That’s when the Canadian returns to his roots and finds creative ways to pitch indoors.
"If it’s raining out or a light day I push my mattress against a wall and throw in my hallway," laughs Soroka. "I guess I have the creativity from my basement growing up in Calgary. I had to figure things out down there more often than not so I’m used to that aspect of it at least."
And Soroka says he’s gotten a lot better at it over the years.
"The mattress is a pretty big target. It’s better than the couch cushions. I’ve set up couch cushions before and thrown through the crack. It leaves a nice hole in the drywall. My dad can attend to fixing a few holes."
Soroka knows he’s lucky to be able to make a living playing baseball and he’d love to play right now. But he says that can’t be the priority.
"Number one is health for everybody. You know you want to make sure that the virus gone. It doesn’t do us any good to start up a season in let’s say July and see it come right back in August or September."
Until then, Soroka will keep the mattress from the spare bedroom in the hallway adding that his pitches are "not a bad way to break it in."