NL East Injury Notes: Frazier, Foltynewicz

Let’s grab an update on a couple of players who might returning to NL East action…

  • Todd Frazier has a good chance of making his season debut later this week, per MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo (via Twitter). The Mets third baseman missed the first couple weeks of the 2019 season with a left oblique injury, but he’s on the return trail and could join the team in Philadelphia. J.D. Davis has had his share of moments while playing third in Frazier’s stead, batting .242/.375/.485, including a home run on April 6th – with an exit velocity of 114.6 mph – that was the fourth hardest-hit HR by a Mets player since Statcast started tracking the data in 2015. Both of his home runs this season came in that April 6th contest against the Nationals until he hit his third tonight against the Braves. Given the way Pete Alonso has played at first base, the Mets will face a roster crunch when Frazier does return. Dominic Smith, Luis Guillorme and Davis all have options remaining, making them notably vulnerable.
  • Braves righty Mike Foltynewicz will make his final scheduled rehab start this week before likely joining the Braves rotation for his 2019 debut, per The Athletic’s David O’Brien (via Twitter). Folty enjoyed a breakout 4.2 rWAR 2018, going 13-10 with a 2.85 ERA over a career high 31 starts. The stellar results were driven by year-over-year improvements in strikeouts per nine innings (from 8.4 K/9 to 9.9 K/9) and home runs allowed per nine (from 1.2 HR/9 to 0.8 HR/9). Both his fastball and sinker gained a full mph or more from 2017 to 2018, while he also relied more heavily on his slider, which excelled as a wipe out pitch (36.8 Whiff%, 42.4 K%). Sean Newcomb’s recent demotion opens up a spot in the rotation, as Monday’s day off will allow a four-man rotation until Folty is likely to return.

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