Braves demote Foltynewicz to Triple-A

BY Cory McCartney • June 17, 2015

ATLANTA -- Through his first six starts, Mike Foltynewicz racked up 38 strikeouts, but with the rookie right-hander fading in his latest outings, the Braves opted to send him down to Triple-A.

"Sometimes when you're dealing with young players, pitchers, sometimes with the confidence level you have to take a step back before you can take a step forward," Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez said before Wednesday game vs. the Red Sox.

Foltynewicz, 23, allowed a combined 11 runs -- 10 earned -- in his last two starts, including Sunday's road loss to the Mets in which he was tagged for nine hits and six total runs with three strikeouts in a season-low 4 1/3 innings.

Acquired from the Astros in the Evan Gattis trade, Foltynewicz is 3-2 on the season with a 5.19 ERA, 48 strikeouts and 17 walks. Velocity was never an issue as he consistently hovered around 95 mph with his fastball, but opponents were also taking advantage of his reliance on it, with a wFB of 0.0, 0.9 and minus-0.2 in his last three starts.

"What I did tell him is 'We're going to see you again before the season's over,'" Gonzalez said. "We think very highly of him. He's a guy that don't come around very often, when you can have 98 mph in your back pocket any time you want.

But I think for right now, where he's at and where he's at, the best spot is for him to be at Triple-A and get some starts."

Atlanta called up shortstop Daniel Castro, with the Mexico native standing in as insurance if Andrelton Simmons' sore hand, which kept him out of the lineup Wednesday after he was hit by a pitch on a bunt attempt Monday in Boston.

Simmons was again held out Wednesday, but Gonzalez said he would be available, if needed, and was expected back in his starting spot in Thursday's finale vs. the Red Sox.

"He wanted to be in the lineup today but we decided to hold him out one more day," Gonzalez said.

Follow Cory McCartney on Twitter @coryjmccartney