Atlanta Braves 2024 season preview: Ray Kerr looks to establish himself in the majors

Ray Kerr will start the season in Gwinnett, but looks to force his way to Atlanta sooner than later.

Tampa Bay Rays v Atlanta Braves
Tampa Bay Rays v Atlanta Braves / Matthew Grimes Jr./Atlanta Braves/GettyImages

The Atlanta Braves have perhaps one of the most loaded bullpens in baseball. Ray was traded, along with Matt Carpenter, for Drew Campbell in a deal back in December with one thing in mind - adding more left handed pitching options for the Braves bullpen.

Recapping Kerr's 2023 season

Ray Kerr appeared in 36 games for the Padres Triple-A affiliate, where he had a 2.25 ERA, and 10.50 K/9 along with a 4.25 BB/9. Kerr also appeared in 22 games for the Padres, where he pitched 27 innings and had a 4.33 ERA, 11.67 K/9, and 3.00 BB/9 rate.

He gets it done with an above average fastball, especially for a left handed pitcher, coming in at 96 MPH which is good enough to be considered in the 84th percentile amongst pitchers, according to Baseball Savant.

He combines that 60 grade fastball, with a good slider to that darts into right handed hitters, and an okay changeup that helps keeps left handed hitters balanced. His 3 BB/9 rate that he showcased in the majors last year for San Diego was a career low and something to monitor as he starts the year in Gwinnett.

What is in store for Kerr in 2024?

Ray Kerr was optioned to Triple-A earlier in Spring Training signifying that he will begin the season at Triple-A Gwinnett, barring injury. With it relatively well known that GM Anthopolous is a bit of a fan of Kerr, his time in Gwinnett isn't expected to be too lengthy - especially given historical trends with relievers in general.

Upon promotion, expect Ray in situations where he's facing multiple left handed hitters because he's much better against LHB than he is versus rightys. Using his career numbers (just 32 total innings) Ray has a .506 OPS against LHB, and a .943 OPS against RHB - again signifying that he was acquired for his work against lineups like the Phillies that are left handed dominant.

More from House That Hank Built