It has been a difficult week for former All-Star Mike Falloniewicz. On Monday, he was DFAAID after the Braves showed a sharp drop in their velocity for the second season in a row, resulting in back-to-back poros outings against the Marlins and Rays. And yesterday, he was lumped in for Gwinnett as none of the other 29 teams claimed him on waivers. He just goes to show how many months he has fallen.
Even after a disappointing start in 2019, Faultynews was able to bounce-back and become the Braves’ best pitcher due to a stretch that eventually led to a winner-take-all Game 5 start against the St. Louis Cardinals. We don’t have to redo what happened in that game, but Faulty still had the goods of a top-of-the-rotation starter. This has not happened yet in 2020.
Faulty’s velocity is at full five mph from last year and over seven mph from 2018, leading many to question whether there is some underlying issue. However, yesterday on MLB Network’s High Heat, Alex Anthopoulos was clear in saying that Faulty is healthy and in good shape, having returned after a long layoff, the luggage was not there. And for a pitcher who has always been a “stuff man”, there is no way for him to have much success if he can’t get it right.
– MLB Network (@MLBN Network) 30 July 2020
It is impossible to say. The Braves are leaving the door open for a possible return. Folnewic will work with the taxi squad in Jeevinnet, and if he can show a steady increase in velocity, the Braves will most likely give him another shot. After all, they don’t have many other promising options in their rotation after Mike Soroka and Max Fried.
In a way it may be possible for Foley if he gains some weight.
Although Anthopoulos stated on MLB Network that Faulty came back to camp in good shape, it was clearly evident that he was a lot more slender than in previous years. After Gwinnett surfaced, Foltynewicz acknowledged the concerns and reportedly told Brian Snitker that he was already working on what he hoped would increase velocity.
#Braves Snitker says the team hopes to put some weight on Faulty through diet and training plans. If they make it back correctly the sneaker feels they can regain its velocity.
– 92.9 The Game (@ 929TheGame) 30 July 2020
This is not going to be an easy road to Faulty, and I would not expect him to return to Atlanta anytime soon. However, as long as there are no underlying issues, there is a chance that he can sort things out in Gwinnett. Foltynewicz was able to do it last year and returned as the best pitcher of the Braves. It will be a bit more challenging to do this season as there is no minor league season, but through bullpen sessions and live-action practices, coaches will be able to tell if their stuff is back. For the sake of the Braves, who are desperate to help the rotation, let’s hope Folty can quickly turn it around.
Photo: David J. Griffin / Icon Sportswear