The Atlanta Braves announced on Twitter that they had outrighted Mike Foltynewicz to their reserved practice site.
The move reveals that the pitcher has cleared waivers. On Monday night, the organization designated him for assignment. With no options left on his deal with the team, Folty had to be placed on waivers. The 29 teams passed on the price of approximately $2 million to acquire the hurler. Folty is now left with the Braves in their 60-man player pool. He will not be placed on their 40-man roster.
The DFA came after Folty showed alarming flashes from the past. He gave up six runs in 3.1 innings. The most concerning factor were his drop in velocity on his fastball.
Folty's fastball averaged 91.7 mph during a scoreless first. The velocity for each of the eight FBs: 91.4, 92.9, 91.4, 91.7, 89.8, 92, 89.6
2019 avg velo:
4-seamer 94.8 mph
Sinker 95 mph
2018 avg. velo:
4-seamer 96.3 mph
2-seamer 96.5 mph
— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) July 27, 2020
Perhaps the months of June and July aren’t suited for Folty. Atlanta exercised his last option on June 23 of last season. He was sent to Triple-A Gwinnett for assignment after a 4-inning, 8-run disaster against the Washington Nationals. He spent seven weeks with the Stripers before returning to the Braves for their playoff push.
Folty performed extremely well down the stretch. He went 9-1 during those 10 outings. His 2.65 ERA during that run was a far cry from the 6.37 ERA he posted in the previous 11 starts. The last five games of the regular season were the best of his career. Folty went 4-1 with a 1.50 ERA. His SO/BB rate was 4.3.
Folty then went on to out-duel St Louis Cardinals’ ace Jack Flaherty in Game 2 of the 2019 NLDS. As Atlanta’s hottest pitcher at the time, Folty went seven innings while surrendering no runs. He gave up three hits and fanned seven Cardinals in just his third playoff appearance. However, what ensued completed a perfect microcosm regarding the curious case of Mike.
In a decisive Game 5, Folty went on to implode in the first inning. He recorded only one out after surrendering six runs.
Fast-forward to the middle of summer 2020, and it’s more of the same for the former first-round pick. The erratic nature of the right-hander leaves the Braves short-handed as they try to balance the front of their starting rotation with quality starts on the back end. With other veterans like Cole Hamels and Felix Hernandez missing from the start of the 2020 season, the latest news on Folty presses the need even more for reliable arms.