I’ve spilled a lot of ink in the comments about Folty, so I’ll try to recap and be concise.
Look, I don’t know who Mike Foltynewicz is, and I don’t know who does. In almost every timespan or environment, the man has been manic, whether it be in the 2018 and 2019 postseason, the 2019 season, the 2018 season, or his career as a whole, good luck pinning this guy down. Let me show my work:
Postseason: 4 GS, 13.1 IP, 11 H, 11 ER, 17 K, 7.43 ERA. He’s good to strike out 11.5 per 9 in the postseason, give up one run or less in two of the starts, but he’s unable to get out of the third in the other two starts.
2018 Season: 183 IP, 130 H, 68 BB, 202 K, 2.85 ERA, 3.37 FIP, 3.9 bWAR
2019 Season: 117 IP, 109 H, 37 BB, 105 K, 4.54 ERA, 4.97 FIP, 0.5 bWAR
Breaking Down the 2019 Season
As we all know, it was two seasons for Folty: BD (Before Demotion) and AD (After Demotion)
Before Demotion: 11 GS, 59.1 IP, 42 ER, 64 H, 20 BB, 17 HR, 50 K, 6.37 ERA
After Demotion: 10 GS, 57.2 IP, 17 ER, 45 H, 17 BB, 7 HR, 55 K, 2.65 ERA
He wasn’t fooling anyone before his demotion, giving up almost a hit per inning and the ball flying out of the ballpark on him too. But when he came back, he was the Folty of old. But while I’ve been pretty harsh with him, aside from Game 5 in the Division Series, he was the Folty you thought you were getting after his 2018 season.
First off, I’m not sure what the Braves will do with his arbitration situation. The Braves have already taken him to arbitration once, so you can’t do it to him again, right? Perhaps you can try to do some risk-share with Folty and give him a two year deal where he’s being paid fairly close to if he was the 2018 version of himself. Hey, you’re bound to get a good year in one of the two seasons.
And while I think he’ll expound on his second half success as he goes into 2020, I don’t think it’s wise for Atlanta to count on him to be a member of the front half of a rotation. The 2020 season needs to be about having a little less risk on the 25-man roster while still having as much upside as possible, and I think Folty gives you that if he’s a member of the back half of the rotation. Put it this way: if there are 3 starters ahead of him in the rotation, he’s one of the best 4th starters in all of baseball who has the potential to be a weapon in the postseason.
If not, then the Braves need to be looking to finally put him in the bullpen or trade him. Regardless of how his arbitration will be handled, he’s still a very tradeable asset should the Braves go that route. But like I said, I think he slots into the rotation and continues to work towards being a reliable starting pitcher.
What do you think?