Mike Foltynewicz went unclaimed on waivers and will stay with the Braves.
Foltynewicz was designated for assignment after Atlanta’s Monday night loss to the Tampa Bay Rays down in St. Petersburg. In Foltynewicz’s first start of the 2020 MLB season, he went 3.1 innings, allowing six earned runs, four hits, walked four and gave up three home runs. Atlanta lost 14-5 after blowing out the New York Mets on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball the night before.
While many people believed it was way too early for the Braves to give up on Foltynewicz, this is a 60-game season after all and you can’t have a former National League All-Star struggle in back-to-back starts. In his final tune-up for the season, Foltynewicz got tattooed by the Miami Marlins, foreshadowing a sign of more bad things to come for him on the mound.
Surely, somebody out there wanted a slender Foltynewicz to not break 90 MPH on the radar gun for them in a COVID-19 shortened MLB season. For some, it was shocking to see him go unclaimed on waivers, but he now reports to the Braves’ alternate training site. Nobody wanted him, so down goes Foltynewicz to the equivalent of Triple-A Gwinnett, as he sticks with the Braves.
Will Mike Foltynewicz return to the big league roster at some point?
In a 60-game season being played in the midst of a global pandemic, anything is possible. By designating him for assignment, there was always the possibility Foltynewicz would end up remaining with the Braves organization in some capacity. For now, he needs to get back the heat on his fastball and try to put on some weight because some people suggested he was doing drugs.
Obviously, Foltynewicz was not doing drugs, as his wife Brittany went after a Braves fan on an Instagram Story for even suggesting that. She mentioned her husband struggles to keep weight on during the offseason. Without having access to the Braves’ training facility, and chasing kids around the house, we get why he doesn’t look to be as muscular as he normally does for Atlanta.
Even if Foltynewicz is now reporting to the team’s alternate training site, a larger issue remains in Atlanta: Who can manager Brian Snitker trust in the back-end of his starting rotation? He knows he can lean on ace Mike Soroka and No. 2 Max Fried, but guys like Sean Newcomb and Kyle Wright have no choice but to step up. It’s a huge opportunity for them. Hopefully, they don’t blow it.
Foltynewicz will look to regain the speed on his fastball, as he goes to the Braves’ training site.