Atlanta Braves 2024 season preview: Dylan Lee's journey back to the mound

Lee could have a big impact for the Atlanta Braves after an injury-shortened 2023 season.

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New York Mets v Atlanta Braves / Adam Hagy/GettyImages

After a breakout 2022 season, Atlanta Braves left-handed pitcher Dylan Lee had a bit of a down 2023, which was mainly due to an injury-shortened campaign. With the reliever now back to full health as he enters 2024, could a bounce-back season be in the works for the southpaw?

Atlanta Braves 2024 season preview: Dylan Lee

Thinking back to the 2022 season, there were few relievers who impressed more during that season, as well as having been more reliable on a nightly basis, than Dylan Lee. That season, Lee would make 46 relief appearances out of the Braves bullpen, where he would own a combined 5-1 record with a 2.13 ERA and 59:10 K/BB ratio across 50.2 IP, as well as a 1.3 WAR.

As for last season, Lee is coming off a 2023 campaign in which he made only 24 appearances with Atlanta, landing on the IL twice during the year with left shoulder inflammation. Across those 24 total appearances, Lee would own a combined 1-0 record with a 4.18 ERA and 24:8 K/BB ratio across 23.2 IP.

Looking ahead to 2024, however, Lee is now back to full health, meaning a bounce-back season could be in the works for the left-hander.

In his return to the mound, Lee has struggled at times during spring training, owning an 8.31 ERA across five relief appearances. Across those 4.1 IP, Lee also owns a 6:1 K/BB ratio and has given up a team-high four home runs this spring.

As for his 2024 outlook, Lee is likely competing for a spot on Atlanta's Opening Day roster and is one of the arguable favorites for the final spots. Regardless of whether or not he makes the roster to start the year, it will be sooner rather than later that we see Lee and the left-hander should be a key name in the Braves bullpen throughout the 2024 season if he is able to remain healthy.

Fangraphs ZiPS projections have Lee pitching in 48 innings with a 3.38 ERA and a 9.75 K/9 rate. Lee's BABIP is sitting at .297 which isn't ideal but it is about where that number typically resides for the lefty reliever.

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