The Chicago White Sox should go for Mike Foltynewicz to improve their depth.
The Chicago White Sox started their Summer Camp with the news that Michael Kopech would be opting out of the 2020 season. That was a hit to their pitching depth before it even got started. Then on Sunday, Reynaldo Lopez looked awful before an injury took him out of the game. Well, you could never have enough pitching so going for another available arm might not be the worst idea. They should go after the now-former Atlanta Braves pitcher, Mike Foltynewicz.
He had a rough start on Monday night against the Tampa Bay Rays but there were a few reasons for it. His velocity was way down as he averaged 89 mph and his average is around 95. That is a big drop but it was also his first game of a COVID-19 shortened season. He was also facing the Tampa Bay Rays who have one of the deepest starting lineups in all of baseball. They could absolutely be one of the two or three best teams in the league.
Designating him for assignment shows how committed they are to winning this year. They seem to have a short leash on a lot of people right now. There is no doubt that this was a surprising move for Atlanta because of what he has done in the past before this one bad start.
Foltynewicz is only 28 years old and won’t be 29 until October. He was drafted by the Houston Astros in the first round (19th overall) of the 2010 MLB Draft out of Minooka High School in Minooka Illinois. He is a local boy so playing for the White Sox might have some meaning for him. He was traded to Atlanta by Houston in the trade that sent Evan Gattis back to the Astros.
In 2018, Foltynewicz was an all-star for the National League. He was so good that year that he came in 8th place for the National League Cy Young. Some guy named Jacob deGrom won it that year and another dude named Max Scherzer came in second. Pretty good company to be in if you’re Foltynewicz.
Another positive sign for him is the way he finished the 2019 season as well. It wasn’t quite the year before but he was brilliant in his last ten starts of 2019. He had a record of 6-1 with a 2.65 ERA. He only allowed 45 hits and walked 17. If he can go through multiple stretches like that a season, this could be a very impressive pitcher for whoever takes a chance on him.
If the White Sox feel that they need another arm to compete for that 5th spot in the rotation, they should really look into this guy. He is certainly going to be angry at the way his Braves career ended so he will want to come back strong. The fact that he is an Illinois native would make his resurgence even more fun if it came with the Sox.