Mike Foltynewicz

Mike Foltynewicz

Foltynewicz signs autographs in January 2014
Atlanta Braves – No. 26
Born: (1991-10-07) October 7, 1991
Sterling, Illinois
Bats: Right Throws: Right
MLB debut
August 2, 2014, for the Houston Astros
MLB statistics
(through 2016 season)
Win–loss record 13–12
Earned run average 4.92
Strikeouts 202

Michael Gary "Mike" Foltynewicz (/fltˈnɛv/;[1] born October 7, 1991) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Atlanta Braves of Major League Baseball (MLB). He was drafted by the Houston Astros in the first round of the 2010 Major League Baseball Draft. He played in the minor leagues until he was called up to the Astros in August 2014.

Early life

Foltynewicz grew up in Illinois and wanted to be a major league player from an early age. He says that his parents, Mike and Cindy Foltynewicz, both developed elbow problems one summer due to throwing him so much batting practice.[2] He graduated in 2010 from Minooka High School in Minooka, Illinois.[3]


Houston Astros

Major league debut (August 2014)

Foltynewicz was drafted by the Houston Astros in the first round (19th overall) of the 2010 Major League Baseball Draft.[4][5] He planned to attend the University of Texas at Austin, but decided to enter professional baseball when he was chosen in the draft. Foltynewicz and the Astros agreed to a $1.3 million signing bonus.[6]

In 2012, Foltynewicz was the Astros Minor League Pitcher of the Year after going 14–4 with a 3.14 earned run average (ERA) and 125 strikeouts in 152 innings pitched.[7][8] The next season, Foltynewicz pitched seven games (five starts) for the Class A Advanced Lancaster JetHawks and earned a 1-0 record with a 3.81 ERA. He finished the season with the Class AA Corpus Christi Hooks, starting 16 of 23 games on the way to a 5-3 record, a 2.87 ERA and three saves.[9]

Foltynewicz was called up to Houston on August 1, 2014. His first appearance was against the Toronto Blue Jays on August 2. At the time of his promotion, Foltynewicz had a 7-7 record with a 5.08 ERA at Class AAA Oklahoma City, where he registered 102 strikeouts in 102 23 innings.[10] He was listed by both ESPN and Baseball America as the fourth best prospect in the Houston system.[2] Though he was a starting pitcher in Oklahoma City, Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said that the team would use Foltynewicz out of the bullpen for the rest of the 2014 season.[10]

Atlanta Braves

The Astros traded Foltynewicz, Andrew Thurman, and Rio Ruiz to the Atlanta Braves in exchange for Evan Gattis and James Hoyt on January 14, 2015.[1][11] He was invited to spring training and sent down to the Triple–A Gwinnett Braves on April 4.[12] Through his first four starts with Gwinnett, Foltynewicz posted a 2.08 ERA over 21.2 innings pitched with 30 strikeouts and 10 walks. On April 30, third baseman Chris Johnson was moved to the 15-day disabled list, allowing room for the Braves to call up Foltynewicz to replace struggling Trevor Cahill in the starting rotation.[13][14] Foltynewicz made his Braves debut on May 1 against the Cincinnati Reds earning his first career win over five innings pitched, allowing two earned runs. On the same night, Folynewicz also recorded his first career hit, a double that scored two runs.[15] Foltynewicz was optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett on June 17 after seeing his ERA rise to 5.19 in his previous three starts.[16][17] He was recalled on July 7, after utility player Joey Terdoslavich was optioned to Gwinnett.[18] He served as an extra reliever in Atlanta's bullpen during the final games before the All Star break. On July 12, after the final game of the first half, he was optioned back to Gwinnett.[19] Foltynewicz was recalled on July 30 to make a spot start for Manny Banuelos.[20] He began to fall ill on August 18,[21] and was first diagnosed with costochondritis in September,[22] which soon developed into pneumonia.[23][24] On September 19, Foltynewicz suffered a further setback, and was diagnosed with blood clots in his pitching arm.[25] Two days later, Foltynewicz underwent a rib resection to deal with the clots.[26] As a result of the surgery, he lost approximately 20 pounds (9.1 kg).[27]

Foltynewicz contended for a rotation spot in spring training in 2016. The Braves eventually assigned him to Gwinnett at the end of March to give him more time to recover from surgery.[28] Foltynewicz was recalled on May 1 to replace Bud Norris in the rotation.[29] Foltynewicz made his season debut the next day, taking a loss against the New York Mets.[30] He returned to the disabled list on June 4 with a bone spur in his elbow.[31] Foltynewicz was reactivated on June 29, as the Braves' rotation was beset by injuries to other pitchers.[32]


  1. 1 2 Bowman, Mark (January 14, 2015). "Braves send Gattis to Astros for 3 prospects". MLB.com. Retrieved January 22, 2015.
  2. 1 2 Ortiz, Jose de Jesus. "Flame-throwing Foltynewicz gets call of a lifetime from Astros". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved August 3, 2014.
  3. Oesterle, Rob (August 1, 2014). "Minooka grad Foltynewicz called up to Houston Astros". Morris Daily Herald. Retrieved August 3, 2014.
  4. Helfgot, Mike (June 7, 2010). "Minooka's Foltynewicz picked 19th by Astros". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved May 2, 2016.
  5. McTaggart, Brian (June 8, 2010). "Astros nab hard-throwing righty at No. 19". MLB.com. Retrieved May 2, 2016.
  6. Helfgot, Mike (June 18, 2010). "2010 Chicago Tribune baseball All-State first team: Minooka's Mike Foltynewicz". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved January 26, 2014.
  7. "Astros name Minor League Player, Pitcher of the Year". MLB.com. September 20, 2012. Retrieved May 2, 2016.
  8. "Pitcher Mike Foltynewicz ready to soar in Astros' system". Herald News. October 28, 2012. Retrieved May 2, 2016 via Highbeam Research.
  9. "Michael Foltynewicz Minor League Statistics & History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved August 3, 2014.
  10. 1 2 McTaggart, Brian (August 1, 2014). "Astros call up hard-throwing righty Foltynewicz". MLB.com. Retrieved August 3, 2014.
  11. "Braves trade Evan Gattis to Astros". ESPN.com. January 14, 2015. Retrieved January 15, 2015.
  12. Bowman, Mark (April 4, 2015). "Braves option No. 2 prospect Foltynewicz to Triple-A". MLB.com. Retrieved April 5, 2015.
  13. Cunningham, Michael (April 30, 2015). "Braves' Fredi G. says Cahill move to bullpen 'not permanent'". Atlanta Journal Constitution. Retrieved September 22, 2015.
  14. Bowman, Mark (April 30, 2015). "Braves turn to Foltynewicz for tonight's start". MLB.com. Retrieved September 22, 2015.
  15. Henry, George (May 1, 2015). "Foltynewicz wins 1st career start as Atlanta Braves beat Cincinnati Reds, 4-3". Gainsville Times. Associated Press.
  16. "Mike Foltynewicz optioned to Triple-A". ESPN.com. Associated Press. June 17, 2015. Retrieved September 22, 2015.
  17. Collazo, Carlos (June 18, 2015). "Braves option Foltynewicz, call up Castro". MLB.com. Retrieved September 22, 2015.
  18. Bowman, Mark (July 7, 2015). "Foltynewicz rejoins Braves in relief role". MLB.com. Retrieved September 22, 2015.
  19. Bowman, Mark (July 12, 2015). "Braves option Foltynewicz to Triple-A". MLB.com. Retrieved September 20, 2015.
  20. Smolensky, Connor (July 30, 2015). "Foltynewicz shows progress in return to Braves". MLB.com. Retrieved September 20, 2015.
  21. Bowman, Mark (February 1, 2016). "Foltynewicz patient in recovery from blood clot". MLB.com. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  22. Bowman, Mark (September 1, 2015). "Foltynewicz placed on DL; Perez starts Wednesday". MLB.com. Retrieved September 20, 2015.
  23. Mark, Bowman (September 10, 2015). "Folty recovering, hopes to pitch again soon". MLB.com. Retrieved September 20, 2015.
  24. Bowman, Mark (September 15, 2015). "Pneumonia likely to limit Foltynewicz to bullpen". MLB.com. Retrieved September 20, 2015.
  25. Bowman, Mark (September 20, 2015). "Foltynewicz hospitalized with blood clots in right arm". MLB.com. Retrieved September 20, 2015.
  26. Bowman, Mark (September 21, 2015). "Foltynewicz has surgery to alleviate clots". MLB.com. Retrieved September 22, 2015.
  27. "Braves' Foltynewicz continues recovery from blood clots". ESPN.com. Associated Press. February 1, 2016. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  28. Bowman, Mark (March 30, 2016). "Foltynewicz optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett". MLB.com. Retrieved March 30, 2016.
  29. Curtright, Guy (May 1, 2016). "Foltynewicz called up to Atlanta, Bonifacio back in Gwinnett after roster mixup". Gwinnett Daily Post. Retrieved May 1, 2016.
  30. Bowman, Mark; DiComo, Anthony (May 2, 2016). "Shaky first frame sinks Braves in Foltynewicz's debut". MLB.com. Retrieved May 3, 2016.
  31. Bowman, Mark (June 4, 2016). "Foltynewicz lands on DL with sore right elbow". MLB.com. Retrieved June 30, 2016.
  32. Bowman, Mark (June 29, 2016). "Staff woes force Braves to hasten Folty's return". MLB.com. Retrieved June 30, 2016.
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