Foltynewicz cleared waivers Thursday and was outrighted to Triple-A Gwinnett. It came as a surprise to see Foltynewicz designated for assignment Monday, but it's another shock to see the right-hander clear waivers after the transaction. As a result, he'll remain in the Braves organization and report to the team's alternate training site. Foltynewicz struggled in his first start of 2020 as his velocity was way down from what he'd shown in past seasons. It's unclear whether he'll appear in the majors again this year, but he'll get the chance to work things out at the alternate camp.
Foltynewicz was designated for assignment following Monday's loss to the Rays, Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports. He gave up six earned runs on four hits and four walks while striking out three in 3.1 innings earlier in the day. This is a shocking move, as Foltynewicz had seemingly been a lock for the rotation all offseason and into the spring. The big red flag that will follow Foltynewicz to his next team will be the fact he averaged 89.3 mph with his fourseam fastball during Monday's start after averaging at least 94.8 mph with that pitch in each of his previous six seasons, according to Kevin McAlpin of 680 The Fan Atlanta. This steep decline in velocity could be injury related, but he said he feels fine, according to manager Brian Snitker. Jhoulys Chacin seems like a logical candidate to step into the rotation. The Braves could also call on one of Bryse Wilson or Ian Anderson at their satellite camp.
Foltynewicz will start Monday's game against the Rays, Gabe Burns of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Foltynewicz was effective in Thursday's intrasquad game, and he'll start behind Sean Newcomb in the rotation to begin the season. Foltynewicz could be on a pitch count over his first couple turns through the rotation as the team plans to roll out their starters with caution to begin the season. The 28-year-old posted a 4.54 ERA and 105:37 K:BB in 21 starts last season after missing the first several weeks with an elbow injury.
Foltynewicz looked dominant during Thursday's intrasquad game, allowing only one walk over three hitless innings while striking out three, David O'Brien of The Athletic reports. "I thought Folty was really good," manager Brian Snitker said. The right-hander suggested he was about 80 percent ready for the season when summer camp began, and Foltynewicz backed up that assessment Thursday. After an erratic 2019, Folty will be looking to rediscover the form that saw him post a 2.85 ERA and 9.9 K/9 over a career-high 183 innings the season before.
General manager Alex Anthopolous said Wednesday that the Braves will be cautious and limit their starters to 2-4 innings their first couple times through the rotation, David O'Brien of The Athletic reports. Spring training 2.0 next month will only provide so much warm-up time for pitchers following the three-month shutdown of official activities, so it's no a major surprise to see teams wanting to take it slow. Each team will begin the 60-game season with a 30-man roster, so there should be plenty of depth to cover the innings from the shortened starts. Foltynewicz had a 4.54 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and 105:37 K:BB over 21 starts last season and is looking for a rebound effort in 2020.