NEW YORK – It appears more and more likely that Mike Foltynewicz won’t make another start this season due to the cut on the tip of his right middle finger.
Braves manager Brian Snitker said he’d be more surprised if Foltynewicz did make another start than if he did not, and Foltynewicz said Tuesday that the tip of his finger still doesn’t feel normal when he throws, and he’s not thrown off a mound since being forced from his last start Sept. 14 after four innings.
He said the cut happened in that game at Washington from rubbing the baseball between pitches, an injury that is most unusual under those circumstances.
“We’re making progress, but it gets a little hot,” Foltynewicz said in the visitor’s clubhouse before Tuesday’s game against the Mets at Citi Field. “We talked to the talk and he said there could be nerve damage if we continued to do it. But trainers said you never know what could happen. We came so far with it already, we’ve been doing so much stuff, and we could just see what happens here.
“But we get like 95 percent effort it just gets a little hot, and haven’t thrown off the mound in over a week, I can’t feel where it’s going right now.”
The Braves have only five games left after Tuesday, including a series finale at New York Wednesday and a four-game series at Miami that ends Sunday. They currently have Sean Newcomb scheduled to pitch Wednesday followed by Julio Teheran, Luiz Gohard, Lucas Sims and a to-be-determined starter for the season finale against the Marlins on Sunday.
Snitker said that Tuesday starter R.A. Dickey was at that time most likely to get the start Sunday, but the Braves could go with rookie Max Fried, who would be on normal rest after pitching the second game of Monday’s doubleheader.
Foltynewicz’s season had much promise during a long stretch this summer that was the best of his career, but then he slumped for a stretch and even after getting back on track he kept losing, dropping each of his last seven starts.
He went 9-1 with a 3.56 ERA in 14 starts from May 12 through July 25, then was 1-8 with a 7.27 ERA and .307 opponents’ average in his last nine starts while lasting fewer than six innings in all but three of those games.
“Hopefully we might get off the mound in the next couple of days and just see where we can go from there,” Foltynewicz said. “I’m just kind of itching to get back out there, just get this thing healed. But we don’t want to take a step backwards going into the offseason stupid, so…. And we’ve got all these kids (rookie starters) up here now kind of getting their chances. I still want to pitch, 100 percent, but I’ve just got to be smart about it.
“I kind of just want to give it one more shot, show them how this season’s been going for me. But there’s nothing we can do right now but just wait and see how it heals.”
Foltynewicz is 10-13 with a 4.79 ERA in 29 games (28 start), with a 1.48 WHIP, 20 homers allowed and 143 strikeouts with 59 walks in 154 innings. A year ago after starting the season on the disabled list, he went 9-5 with a 4.31 ERA in 22 starts and had a 1.30 WHIP, 18 homers allowed and 111 strikeouts with 35 walks in 123 1/3 innings.