The Atlanta Braves rotation was the focus of this past off-season with the Braves bringing in three new starters but it is a familiar face impressing early this spring.
Mike Foltynewicz had an up-and-down season with the Braves relying primarily on his velocity to get him out of trouble. Relying on his velocity got him in trouble often and he struggled to keep his emotions in check on the mound often getting fiery and looked to be out of control mentally when an outing didn’t go his way.
Folynewicz has talked about just that this spring talking about his need to control his emotions on the mound and how it will improve his ability to pitch. So far in Spring Training he has done just that relying not only on his velocity but his other pitches as well showing some encouraging signs.
Trading Foltynewicz still should be the Braves first priority as long as Folty remains a starter. If they do opt to attempt to let Folty become a part of the rotation long term he is going to have to keep the composure he has shown on the mound early this spring.
For a pitcher the mental aspect and toughness is a tool that is difficult to teach and one that he is going to have to find if he wants any type of success in the MLB. Velocity will help him hide his lack of movement only if he can maintain mental toughness and show poise on the mound.
Mike Foltynewicz is expected to begin the season in the Braves starting rotation with Jaime Garcia, R.A. Dickey,Bartolo Colon, and Julio Teheran. The Braves rotation is much improved and should help the Braves continue to head in the right direction as the rebuild is nearing its end.
The Braves have nearly a month of spring training remaining with few open spots left for contention opening day cannot get her soon enough.