Atlanta Braves Option Mike Foltynewicz

Mike Foltynewicz
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 22: Mike Foltynewicz #26 of the Atlanta Braves pitches against the Washington Nationals during the second inning at Nationals Park on June 22, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

The Atlanta Braves have optioned starting pitcher Mike Foltynewicz to their Triple-A affiliate, the Gwinnett Stripers. This demotion comes quickly for Foltynewicz after another tough start, allowing eight earned runs in four innings pitched against the Washington Nationals on Saturday. In a corresponding move, the Braves recalled relief-pitcher Chad Sobotka. Sobotka will be available for Sunday’s game against the Nationals.

Mike Foltynewicz Optioned to Triple-A

Struggles in 2019

After a phenomenal 2018 campaign, Foltynewicz has hit rock bottom in 2019. In 2018, Foltynewicz became a first-time All-Star and was the ace of the Braves pitching staff — posting a 13-10 record and a 2.85 ERA in 183 IP. Foltynewicz was hoping to repeat this same success in 2019. However, things quickly got off to a lousy start for him. The Braves hurler was placed on the injured list due to a bone spur in his throwing elbow before the season started, and he did not return to the Majors until April 27th. It’s hard to tell if the lack of play is to blame for his struggles this year, but it certainly hasn’t helped.

In 2018, Foltynewicz boasted one of the best sliders in baseball, but in 2019, the pitch has haunted him. In 2018, Foltynewicz only allowed two home-runs against his slider — in 2019, he has already allowed allowed six. Another alarming stat is the home-runs allowed — giving up a whopping 16 homers in 59.1 IP. Last year, Foltynewicz only allowed 17 homers in 183 IP. Also disturbing is Foltynewicz’s K/9 ratio. One year after posting a career-best K/9 ratio (9.9), Foltynewicz’s K/9 is down to 7.58 — his worst since he became a Brave in 2015.

The Braves hope the trip down to Triple-A will get Foltynewicz back on track in hopes that he can return to 2018 form. “It’s time to push the reset button,” manager Brian Snitker said. “It wasn’t working here. It’s been a struggle all year. Nothing got going for him. He didn’t get in a flow, rhythm, anything like that. Sometimes you have to take a step back.”

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