Foltynewicz has surgery

Let's hope Folty will be back at full strength in time for spring training!

The Braves announced Monday night right-handed pitcher Mike Foltynewicz had surgery earlier in the day to remove the anterior half of his first rib. Dr. William Mayfield at Wellstar Kennestone Hospital in Marietta, Ga. performed the procedure.

Foltynewicz was rushed to Piedmont Hospital last Friday after feeling discomfort and having swelling and redness in his right arm. Monday's procedure will hopefully alleviate the blood clots doctors found over the weekend.

Foltynewicz had pneumonia earlier in the month and there is a belief the clots are connected to his illness. He had been dealing with fatigue two weeks before he was finally diagnosed with the pneumonia.

This is a scary situation but the procedure will hopefully nip this problem in the bud. Blood clots are very serious, and while the Braves want Foltynewicz to get back on the mound next season, the first thought must be about his well-being.

I've been a huge fan of Foltynewicz all season. I interviewed him in spring training. He seemed like a really nice young man. And I was really impressed with his talent and potential when he got promoted to Atlanta.

Sure, Folty struggled. But this was the perfect season for him to learn about being a pitcher. He likely learned a lot, and hopefully those positives and negatives will only help Foltynewicz next season.

This kid has tremendous talent. Folty has a great fastball, and beyond that he is able to maintain his velocity well deep into games. That fastball makes him a candidate for the bullpen, but the Braves must give Foltynewicz every chance to be a starting pitcher before they pull the plug and move him into the bullpen.

The coaches in Gwinnett were very impressed with how Foltynewicz dealt with his original demotion to the minor leagues and how he started the season strong. He had his ups and downs when he got to Atlanta, but Foltynewicz showed plenty of potential to be a vital part of the Braves' future.

Let's all wish Folty well in his recovery from the procedure. Hopefully we'll see him 100% next spring and back in the Atlanta rotation.

Listen to “The Bill Shanks Show” from 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WPLA Fox Sports 1670 AM in Macon and online at Follow Bill at and email him at

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