Braves option Foltynewicz, call up Castro

Braves option Foltynewicz, call up Castro

ATLANTA -- The Braves optioned right-handed starter Mike Foltynewicz to Triple-A Gwinnett on Wednesday and selected the contract of infielder Daniel Castro to take his spot on the 25-man roster.

Castro delivered in a key pinch-hit appearance in the seventh inning against the Red Sox, singling in his first big league at-bat to move Cameron Maybin to third base on a hit-and-run play. Maybin scored the game-winning run when the next batter, Nick Markakis, delivered an RBI single. The Braves won, 5-3.

Foltynewicz struggled over his past three starts, posting an 8.04 ERA in 15 2/3 total innings while failing to get through the sixth inning in any of the outings. During that period, batters hit .403 with a 1.101 OPS against the 23-year-old. Over nine starts, Foltynewicz posted a 3-2 record with a 5.19 ERA, striking out 48 and walking 17.

Manager Fredi Gonzalez said the team "will toss around" who to go with for Friday's start vs. the Mets in place of Foltynewicz, but he said that the decision had not been made yet.

"Sometimes when you're dealing with young pitchers, sometimes you have to take a step back to take a step forward," said Gonzalez. "I think it's one of those things collectively as an organization, as a coaching staff, you look at a guy and say, 'What is best for that young man? Is it best for that young man to keep going out there and competing … or is it best for the young man to go down to Triple-A and let him settle down for a bit?'"

Castro is a 22-year-old infielder who has hit .330 with a .741 OPS in 57 games between Double-A Mississippi and Triple-A Gwinnett this season. Gonzalez said that with shortstop Andrelton Simmons needing another day out of the starting lineup with a sore right hand, he wanted to have another infielder.

"He swings the bat well, he gives you good at-bats," Gonzalez said of Castro after talking with Gwinnett manager Brian Snitker. "He's playing a pretty good shortstop in Gwinnett. He's not going to run a 3.9 down the line, but he's in the right place at the right time always."

Gonzalez wasn't sure how much playing time Castro would get in his time with the Major League club, but he expects Simmons to be back in the starting lineup Thursday.

Either way, Gonzalez told "Folty" that he expected to see him back with the big league club again before the season ends.

"We think very highly of him," Gonzalez said. "He's a guy that doesn't come around very often, when you've got 98 [mph] in your back pocket any time you want.

"But I think for right now, where he's at, where we're at, I think the best spot is for him to go down to Triple-A and get some starts in him."

Carlos Collazo is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.