LOS ANGELES -- When Mike Foltynewicz arrived at Dodger Stadium on Friday afternoon, the Braves assumed he would make Saturday night's start against Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw. But a few hours later, they faced the reality that Foltynewicz will need a couple of weeks to rest his sore right elbow.Bud
LOS ANGELES -- When Mike Foltynewicz arrived at Dodger Stadium on Friday afternoon, the Braves assumed he would make Saturday night's start against Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw. But a few hours later, they faced the reality that Foltynewicz will need a couple of weeks to rest his sore right elbow.
Bud Norris will make Saturday's start in place of Foltynewicz, who has been placed on the 15-day disabled list. Fortunately, medical exams have shown no signs of structural damage in the elbow. But the discomfort being caused by a bone spur was significant enough for Foltynewicz to understand it might be in his best interest to take what he hopes to be just a short break from pitching.
"It's uneasy for me right now," Foltynewicz said. "I don't feel comfortable going out there and throwing seven innings and trying to throw 100 pitches. But this is my elbow. So I'm going to get some treatment and then get back on the right path and pitch."
Foltynewicz underwent a MRI exam and CT scan in Atlanta on Thursday, and the Braves received the encouraging results regarding the elbow's structure late Thursday night. Manager Brian Snitker was under the assumption the right-hander would make Saturday's start when he addressed the media before Friday night's 4-2 loss to the Dodgers.
But after further evaluation, the Braves opted to take the cautious route.
"He did all the tests yesterday, and there's some soreness in there," Snitker said. "But there's nothing that is structurally wrong. He's just a little sore. We just want to get it right. I don't really see it being anything longer than the two weeks."
Foltynewicz provided one of his most impressive outings of the season on Monday, when he completed six innings in a win over the Giants. But over the next few days he began feeling some discomfort whenever he was forced to extend his elbow while completing everyday activities.
The discomfort has not necessarily been significant when Foltynewicz has attempted to throw, but he found himself occasionally attempting to compensate by altering his arm slot during a recent bullpen session.
"It doesn't hurt when I throw," Foltynewicz said. "It just hurts when I do normal stuff like pull my cap, brush my teeth or take off my jersey. But if this is something I've got to learn how to pitch with, I'll do it. But I'm not feeling confident enough to go out and throw in a big league ballgame."
Foltynewicz has taken a significant step forward since he surrendered three home runs during the first inning of his May 2 season debut against the Mets at Citi Field. The 24-year-old has allowed two earned runs or less in four of the five starts that followed.
"I think I'll be back soon and be back on the same path," Foltynewicz said.
Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.