Braves hopeful Mike Foltynewicz’s fifth start brings better results

Mike Foltynewicz has mostly slugged through his first four starts since returning from the injured list, but he and the Braves are optimistic that he will wield his best results yet when he starts Sunday’s game against the Brewers.

Foltynewicz has allowed 23 runs (19 earned) in his 21-1/3 innings. He’s struck out 14 and walked eight while permitting 26 hits. His velocity has been slightly below his average, and he hasn’t coaxed the swing and misses that helped him exceed 200 strikeouts a year ago.

The righty missed spring training and an early portion of the season with bone spurs in his elbow. He’s maintained there aren’t lingering effects, while manager Brian Snitker thinks Foltynewicz has suffered in part because of the lost time in spring training.

After his latest outing, the Braves said Foltynewicz was making adjustments and would make his next scheduled start Sunday against the hard-hitting Brewers. Snitker believes Foltynewicz is progressing and, in due time, could resemble his expected form.

“(Pitching coach Rick Kranitz) was encouraged (after Thursday’s side session), and so was Folty,” Snitker said. “I talked to Folty, and I don’t know if he’ll be back all of a sudden, the old Folty, but hopefully it’s a marked improvement over last time. That’s what we’re looking for. He felt good. They tweaked some mechanics and got him back. I think some things he was doing, he probably didn’t even realize it. So hopefully we’ll see a tick up from where he was last time.”

Foltynewicz was a first-time All-Star in 2018, earning a 2.85 ERA and striking out 202 in 31 starts. He started Game 1 and Game 4 in the National League Division Series.