While it seemed cruel at the time, and a little bit knee jerk, maybe the Braves were justified in dumping Mike Foltynewicz after just one start in 2020.
They’d seen enough.
Here’s a pitcher who had one good year. It was very good, in fact. In 2018, he was an All-Star and finished in the top ten in Cy Young voting.
He had a .285 ERA, struck out 202 batters (without the benefit of facing the Rangers), and led all of major league baseball in complete games.
It was a far cry from his 2014 season. Or his 2015 season. Or 2016, or 2017. He followed that up with a 4.54 ERA in 2019 in twenty-one starts. His inconsistency was mixed with a season of elbow discomfort. After starting the season as the team’s ace, he was optioned to Triple-A in late June.
He finally came back in August, made ten more starts with an ERA of 2.45.
In 2020, Foltynewicz was out of options and the Braves were out of patience.
He made one start, got rocked, lasted three innings, then got released.
After one start.
Of course, the Rangers came calling, signing the twenty-nine-year-old righthander to a one-year deal.
After nine starts, he’s 1-4 with an ERA of 5.18.
The Rangers aren’t the Braves. Atlanta was on a course of winning. The Rangers just need warm bodies in their rotation.
It’s doubtful the Rangers move Foltynewicz out of the rotation, or do anything as drastic as just out and out cutting him.
Because as bad as he is, he’s one of the five best the Rangers have.
Yes, it’s going to be a long long season.