The Houston Astros added another top prospect to their major-league roster this week. Friday, pitcher Mike Foltynewicz was called up from Class AAA Oklahoma City after the trade between the Astros and Miami Marlins. The trade opened up a roster spot and the Astros called up Foltynewicz, who was close to reaching the maximum innings the Astros wanted him to pitch this season. He made his debut last night, facing the Toronto Blue Jays in the eighth inning coming out of the bullpen.
The nerves were running high for Foltynewicz last night as he toed the rubber in the bullpen. His second warm-up pitch only made it about 40 feet before diving into the grass. However, once on the field with Melky Cabrera stepping in the batter’s box, it was all business for Foltynewicz. On a 1-0 count, he got Cabrera, the first hitter Foltynewicz faced in his debut, to pop out in foul territory on the third base side to get his first major-league out.
The fireworks started when the next batter, Jose Bautista, stepped to the plate. Foltynewicz got the crowd buzzing after he threw his first pitch to Bautista, a fastball at 97 mph, over the outside corner of the plate for a called strike. The game plan didn’t change from there. Foltynewicz fired three more fastballs at 99 mph before striking out Bautista swinging.
After being prematurely taken out of the game because of a walk, Foltynewicz left to a standing ovation. The fans wanted more of the fire-baller. The right-hander threw 12 pitches on the night. All of them were fastballs over 96 mph, except for the one two-seam fastball at 94.
There seems to be a bright future for Foltynewicz, who has the ability to come out of the bullpen or start for the Astros. This season, it is likely he will only be coming out of the bullpen because he is near the maximum innings reached the team wants him to throw in a season. Depending on how things progress from here, the Astros could soon be adding another solid starter to their young rotation. With others on the horizon of being called up as well, it is only a matter of time before the Astros start creeping up the leaderboard in the upcoming seasons.