Atlanta Braves: What Fans Should Expect From Mike Foltynewicz


The Atlanta Braves have high expectations for Mike Foltynewicz. Are their expectations misplaced?

Atlanta Braves fans seem to have high expectations for Mike Foltynewicz expecting the righty flame thrower to shift to a higher position in the 2016 rotation and continue to take steps forward. The expectations seem to be because of his velocity that he can eventually become an integral part of the pitching staff and an “ace” who piles up strike outs.

While it is understandable that fans are excited about Folty’s level of velocity there are problems both with his ability to stay healthy and the expectations that fans have in him.  Folty is a twenty-five year old pitcher who rarely manages to pitch past the 5th inning and has consistently had a high ERA pitching against below average lineups in a pitchers park.

There is no questioning that Folty has had some above average outings over the past year and shown marked improvement in several areas in his game. Regardless, there is also no denying despite the velocity Folty tends to leave his pitches over the middle of the plate and often they have little to no movement.

At twenty-five Folty is getting very close to being a finished product.  There is little reason to think that he will suddenly become much better than the four-plus ERA , injury prone pitcher he has been for the past two seasons. While there may be some small improvements that Folty can make fans expectations need to be checked back to reality.

Matt Wisler was in much the same situation last year (minus the velocity) as Folty is headed into this season.  After exceeding expectations and showing some promise as a starter he was expected to be an integral part of the Braves’ rotation. That is not to say that the collapse that Wisler suffered is in store for Folty rather that the expectations being placed on him are high and unrealistic when you consider his career numbers and his track record.

Next: Braves Off-season Targets

Adding veteran inning eaters like Bartolo Colon and R.A. Dickey and still continuing to shop for pitching  show that the Braves know that the Braves know that their prospects are not ready as well as how little faith they have in their rotation options outside of Teheran.  As we get closer to the winter meetings and the Chris Sale rumors die down it will be interesting to see how many more moves the Braves have yet to make.