Atlanta Braves Add Another Reliver Acquiring LHP Taylor Hearn From Texas

The stove continues to heat up as the Atlanta Braves make another move for a relief pitcher to bolster their ailing bullpen.
Early today, the Atlanta Braves added lefty reliever Taylor Hearn to their bullpen options.
Early today, the Atlanta Braves added lefty reliever Taylor Hearn to their bullpen options. / Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports
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Taylor Hearn had stretches of dominance in 2022

2022 and 2023

Hearn opened the season with Texas with three clean innings in his first two games, but the Cubs mauled him for four runs on five hits in his next outing. When the Royals did the same four days later, the Rangers sent him back to AAA.

Since returning to Round Rock, Hearn’s pitched to a 3.66 ERA in 39 1/3 innings over 24 games, striking out 54 and walking 24. On July 19, the Rangers designated him for assignment in favor of Alex Speas.

Why the Atlanta Braves Acquired Hearn

The loss of Dylan Lee and A.J. Minter left Lucas Luetge as the only available lefty. Luetge never found last year’s form and hasn’t pitched well. Luetge was designated for assignment today after Pierce Johnson was acquired from the Rockies.

Hearn relies on a 95 mph, four–seam fastball and an 87 mph slider. While his K-rate was close to last year’s, his walk rate increased. While his fastball still had a 23.5% WHIFF% rate, he left it over the plate too often, and batters hit it at a .462 clip.

The good news is Hearn’s AAA pitching plus numbers look much better:

  • Stuff +: 116.3
  • Location +: 97.1
  • Pitching + 97.5

It’s harder for pitchers with long levers like Hearn to consistently repeat their mechanics, but the Atlanta Braves believe they can help him do that and turn that fastball.

That’s a Wrap

Dylan Lee is on a rehab assignment, but even after he returns, the Braves need another lefty. Hearn is a potential answer for that role, and you might see Justus Sheffield get a shot in the bullpen as well.

I expect Alex Anthopoulos to make more moves as teams make players on their Major League roster available. When he does, we’ll post a note on the front door of The House That Hank Built.