With the addition of Shane Greene, the bullpen for the Atlanta Braves is starting to come around. But more is needed for it to become a dominant bullpen.
When the Atlanta Braves decided not to bring back Mark Melancon and Shane Greene this past offseason, and then also decided not to replace them, it was pretty obvious to everyone the bullpen would be a problem.
Well, everyone was correct as the Braves have had one of the worst bullpens in all of baseball this year after having one of the best in 2020.
Some of that is due to regression from Tyler Matzek and A.J. Minter who were insanely good over a short sample size in 2020.
But it’s also just not as deep.
Last year you had six guys you felt pretty comfortable about coming out of the bullpen in Melancon, Greene, Chris Martin, Matzek, Minter, and Darren O’Day.
And then you had Luke Jackson and Josh Tomlin as your mop-up guys.
For most of this season, you’d had three guys you could usually depend on in Smith, Matzek, and Minter. And they’ve certainly been shaky at times.
Braves: Turnaround for the Bullpen Coming
With Martin back from injury and Greene joining the mix once again, the Braves are now back to have five or six guys out of the bullpen you can trust on most nights.
And Jackson has actually been really good even if he does give you a heart attack whenever he pitches.
But Smith, Martin, Minter, Greene, Matzek should be enough to get the job done in the regular season.
It also gives Snitker the chance to stay in games that are close.
Instead of bringing in Edgar Santana in a game when the Braves are down by two or three runs, he can bring in Greene or Jackson and they should be able to keep the team in the game allowing for a possible comeback.
That’s been the most frustrating thing is those games that are close, but we’re losing, and Snitker has to bring in one of those bottom four relievers and they make a two-run deficit and five-run deficit — essentially ending the game.
Braves: More Bullpen Help Needed
While what the Braves have now is a big upgrade from earlier in the year, and they performed brilliantly against the Dodgers recently, more is needed.
They could still use a dominant right-handed reliever. Greene and Martin are not those guys.
As the trade deadline draws near, look for the Braves to go out and acquire a high-leverage right-handed reliever for the back-end of the bullpen.
If they can add someone like that to the mix, it suddenly turns this into one of the best bullpens in all of baseball.