While Julio Tehran struggles and R.A. Dickey counts the days until he gets his first social security check, Mike Foltnewicz just might be in the process of becoming the Atlanta Braves new pitching ace.
Foltnewicz is coming on like a National League gangbuster. He has gone from inconsistent to reliable. His fastball is in the next zone, and he is mixing his curveball and slider well.
But more than anything, Foltnewicz is more confident than he has ever been in his three seasons in the Major Leagues. He started out as an Astro, including a $1.3 million signing bonus with Houston.
Foltnewicz is all about the Atlanta Braves now, having been traded on Jan. 14, 2015. It hasn’t always been smooth sailing for the right-hander in Atlanta, but Foltnewicz is on track now.
He has improved in the last two seasons. He has gained velocity and game night temperament. Foltnewicz believes he is going to win when he steps on the pitching mound.
He is winning over his teammates, too, from Freddie Freeman, to Matt Adams, to Ender Inciarte. Foltnewicz is currently sporting a 7-5 record with a 3.77 earned run average.
The 25 year old has struck out 81 batters in 93 innings. He is stretching his innings. Foltnewicz has gone from a 6-inning pitcher to a 7-inning guy. The Braves bullpen appreciates the rest, too.
Foltnewicz won nine games last year. He is destined to win much more than that this season. Foltnewicz is headed in the right direction with a Braves team that is light years ahead of last year.
The Braves are getting into the winning frame of mind with the help of No. 26.