With the early returns on the Bud Norris experiment pointing to something between disappointment and disaster, the Braves may be making yet another pitching-related roster move in an attempt to bolster an underperforming rotation. The potential savior this time? Mike Foltynewicz, who has been scratched from his scheduled start at Gwinnett.
Mike Foltynewicz last pitched for Gwinnett on 4/24. Today is his day to start, but Casey Kelly is going instead. Perez - SAT, Jenkins - SUN.— Grant McAuley (@grantmcauley) April 29, 2016
This is far from conclusive; the Braves have not announced a move and it's possible that an ailment or personal issue is causing the schedule upset. But, there's also a chance that Foltynewicz will soon be entering the Atlanta rotation, and Bud Norris might be either booted down the roster or pushed into a relief role.
Foltynewicz did not fare particularly well as a Brave in 15 starts and three relief appearances last season, posting average-ish strikeout and walk rates and giving up his share of homers en route to a 5.71 ERA / 5.05 FIP. In four starts at Gwinnett so far this year, he's gotten better results by keeping the ball in the park, but his walk rate has spiked substantially. Still, he was pretty strong in his last start for the G-Braves, hurling seven innings of one run (none earned) ball, with seven strikeouts, four hits, and four walks allowed.
He's a candidate to potentially start Monday's game in place of Bud Norris. The corresponding roster move might be to send John Gant back to Gwinnett, as this would both allow Gant to get regular work back in and fill a spot in Gwinnett's rotation. As for Norris, it remains to be seen whether he'll continue to have a role on the team, and for how long. His most recent start was calamitous, and he's shown little to justify the multimillion major league deal he received in the offseason so far.
More on this as it develops.