Atlanta Braves 2023 season review: Minter wonderland

Let’s take a look back at the season of A.J. Minter

Division Series - Atlanta Braves v Philadelphia Phillies - Game Four
Division Series - Atlanta Braves v Philadelphia Phillies - Game Four / Kevin D. Liles/Atlanta Braves/GettyImages

The Braves pitching staff (starters and bullpen) has been viewed as one of the biggest flaws Atlanta has had in recent years despite their overwhelming success. One of the most used arms in the Braves relief core has been A.J. Minter. Let’s take a look at his 2023 season. 

Minter was coming off a season where he made 75 appearances and posted a 2.06 ERA and 94 strikeouts in just 70 innings. To many, Minter struggled in 2023 but those evaluations could be based on high expectations. 

Last season, A.J. Minter appeared in 70 games. He tossed a total of 64.2 innings and claimed a 3.76 ERA during that time. He did keep his high strikeout rate as he fanned 82 batters in his 64.2 innings. Regardless of how some Braves fans feel, Minter was one of Atlanta's most reliable relievers. With his high velocity fastball and unique delivery from the left side, most would think Minter would be a nightmare for left-handed hitters. 2023 was actually the opposite. 

A.J. Minter was a textbook reverse split pitcher who actually had better numbers against right handed hitters than left handed bats. Right handers hit .210 while left handed hitters hit an impressive .288. Makes sense as Minter utilizes his excellent cutter often.

Opponents against Minter last season had a .236 average and 31.5% of batters he faced sat down on strikes. Even with the new look Atlanta Braves, especially in the pitching department, Brian Snitker will continue to turn to A.J. Minter late in games to get outs. 

Moving forward, it will be interesting to see how Brian Snitker elects to use Minter in 2024. Will Minter’s 2023 reverse split impact the timing of when he is used? Or will he be trusted in high leverage situations regardless of who is at the plate?