The Atlanta Braves have designated right handed pitcher Mike Foltynewicz for assignment following Monday night’s start in Tampa Bay, according to manager Brian Snitker.
The move comes as a real surprise. Foltynewicz, 28, was hit hard in his season debut against the Rays, allowing six runs on four hits and four walks. His velocity was down once again with his fastball hovering around 90, nearly 5mph slower than his average last year. His secondary pitches lacked any kind of bite as well suggesting he may not be fully healthy.
Still, considering the current landscape of Major League Baseball and the status of the Braves’ rotation, to designate Foltynewicz for assignment in a year like this after one start suggests there may be something more to the decision than his on-field performance. After making a warm up start in an exhibition against the Marlins last week, Foltynewicz blamed the radar gun for his decrease in velocity and publicly engaged with a handful of fans and team writers to combat their critiques.
Alex Anthopoulos will now seek a trade partner for Foltynewicz. Assuming he is traded, he has one year of team control remaining.
As for the Braves’ immediate plans, Chad Sobotka was re-called and will join the bullpen for a few days. It is unclear who will join the Braves’ rotation at this point. One would assume Jhoulys Chacin or Josh Tomlin would get the nod this weekend against the Mets.
More to come.