Folty Designated For Assignemnt (Game Thread)

Well, that’s all she wrote for Mike Foltynewicz. I would be extremely surprised if we ever see him in an Atlanta uniform again.

Folty was designated for assignment after last night’s game. He was not released and he was not traded, so he will go through the waiver process to see if another team wants him. The Braves will likely try to work a trade to get some salary relief. I can’t imagine there’s much expectation for a talent return. 

Folty is just, well, damaged. He doesn’t seem healthy. His fastball is down about 6-8 MPH, and he looks like a skeleton with a beard. Maybe something is going on with him. Maybe a change of scenery will do him well. For me, I’m over it. I’m tired of the Folty saga. Perhaps you will look back on his time in Atlanta and consider him a league average pitcher whom the Braves did not pay much, and that’s probably the right take. In 122 games (118 starts), he leaves with a 4.30 ERA (98 ERA+), 1.32 WHIP, and almost a strikeout an inning. 

But it’s hard to separate his overall body of work from the frustrating rollercoaster that became the latter end of his tenure. After beginning his career with a mediocre 3 seasons between ages 23 and 25, it really seemed like Folty turned the corner in 2018. His 2.85 ERA (143 ERA+), 9.9 K/9, two complete games, and ability to make 31 starts made us think that at age 26, he had turned the corner and he was perhaps becoming the ace of the staff.

Well, not so much. The beginning of 2019 brought one of his worst extended stretches as a big leaguer. In 11 starts, he didn’t make quite 5 innings per start and struggled to a 6.37 ERA. After his start on June 22nd, Atlanta sent him down to AAA. He came back 44 days later, and rattled off one of the best stretches of his career: 10 starts with a 2.65 ERA and back to striking out a batter per inning. He was keeping the ball in the ballpark, he looked healthy, and it looked like he was back. Then, in what seemed like a microcosm of his entire career, he pitched a fantastic 7 shutout innings in Game 2 in the Division Series. But before we ever even came to bat in the deciding Game 5, he had given up 7 runs, 6 earned, while getting only one out in the first inning. 

We’ll also remember the emotional aspect of the Folty experience. We’ll remember the negative body language on the mound, his constant physical expression of any ball-and-strike call he didn’t agree with, and the constant fear that he would mentally unravel if too many didn’t go his way. I love passion, I love intensity, I love outwards displays of emotion on the baseball field. That’s what makes the game fun. But his emotion is indicative of someone who doesn’t have his head on straight. I hope the Braves can get some cash back on him that they can use to acquire at the deadline. I like the man, but good riddance.

25 thoughts on “Folty Designated For Assignemnt (Game Thread)”

  1. SHUT IT DOWN

  2. That’s not the right way to wear your mask, Mr. Choi.

    Maybe having no fans in the seats is making Wright more relaxed.

  3. Strike zone is moving around a bit this inning. Buckle down, kid.

    Baseball is hard if you walk the ballpark.

  4. Surprised no mount visit after the walk to the 2-hole hitter. Dude was pretty clearly overthrowing.

  5. 5 games in it looks like the lack of command from 60% of the starting rotation is going to be a huge problem

  6. It really makes you wonder if one or more Marlins are not following the rules. On the basis of the incubation period, it seems they contracted it in Atlanta, yet no Braves have tested positive. Flowers and d’Arnaud have been sick but not with COVID-19. There have been hardly any positives in baseball since intake and yet the Marlins post 15 in a weekend? I dunno. It seems to be an isolated problem at this point.

  7. It seems that organizationally the Braves pitchers have trouble with command and control. I don’t know if it’s causal but almost every Brave has issues with it.

  8. Seemed to me like he got some runners on, then got amped up, tried harder and overthrew. I do wonder if a more experienced catcher would’ve gone to calm him down a bit after the first walk. It’s gonna happen to a rookie pitcher though.

    To Chief’s pont about organizational command, I mean, Mike Soroka seems to have pretty darn good command and he came from the same org. Can’t discount that.

    Now, the questions I have are:
    1. How great/average/bad do we think the current org is as developing pitchers? Like on a scale from Rangers to Dodgers? I’d say middle of pack?

    This is like year 5 of a rebuild based on drafting and acquiring a TON of pitchers. Many at the beginning questioned the approach or would’ve rather seen a Cubs-style rebuild around offense. As we stand, how successful has the pitching rebuild been? B-minus?

  9. Well, Jhoulys Chacin looked pretty good in his outing the other night. Admittedly, all he was doing was throwing strikes with a gigantic lead, but still…I hope he turns into a semi-reliable starter. If not, we’ve got some trouble here until we can trade for somebody.

  10. @17

    We’ve still got Ian Anderson and Tucker Davidson and Kyle Muller out there, so it’s still incomplete, but I’d say it’s sitting about B-minus right now. I think it actually might’ve dropped half a letter grade in the last 24 hours with the jettisoning of Folty, who had been one of the bright spots for awhile.

  11. OMG. Does anyone really think it’s hard to see Mike Trout? Are there baseball fans without ESPN?

  12. Recapped.
    (Ryan, I’ll need you to create the fancy link to the recap. Also, I couldn’t make the fangraphs player links work. That’s what you get for having an old guy write recaps).

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