Key Braves offseason acquisition gets Pitching Ninja seal of approval

The Braves' bullpen could end up being legitimately amazing if this reliever can keep stealing souls like this in 2024.

New York Mets v Atlanta Braves
New York Mets v Atlanta Braves / Kevin D. Liles/Atlanta Braves/GettyImages

While the Atlanta Braves trading for Chris Sale and Jarred Kelenic this past offseason correctly gets all of the headlines, the Braves needed to cull their 40-man roster in order to make those moves happen. Such a culling did occur when Atlanta acquired Aaron Bummer by sending five players including fan favorite Michael Soroka to the White Sox.

Bummer is an interesting arm because while his 6.79 ERA in 2023 in Chicago was pretty brutal, his numbers before that were quite good and his peripherals from 2023 point to a fair bit of bad luck and crummy fielding behind him which definitely tracks since the White Sox were and are truly awful. Arguably more importantly, the trade provided roster clarity for the Braves and gave them the room to wheel and deal to land Kelenic among others.

So far, Bummer's tenure with the Braves has been hit and miss. He currently sports a 5.87 ERA through nine appearances, but his numbers are being skewed by a couple poor outings. Bummer's walk rate is down which is great, but his strikeout rate is also down which is less great. However, he did show off his ability to get some silly swings and one such swing got one prominent pitching analyst's seal of approval.

Aaron Bummer taking Taveras' soul got him featured by Pitching Ninja

First, we need to take a second to appreciate this swing and miss. During the slow motion replay, you can pinpoint the moment around the 11 second mark when Leody Taveras realizes that he has made a terrible mistake by starting to swing. He tries to recover and ends up spinning out of his shoes and sitting on home plate. Pure performance art.

This is also a moment how great Pitching Ninja is at highlighting individual pitching moments in games. Not only are his overlays and analysis really instructive and helpful in understanding why some guys are particularly filthy, but he is also hilarious. Terms like "sword" and "Bohemian Rhapsody" are becoming a part of the baseball lexicon and he is a big reason why. A hat tip to you, Mr. Friedman.

As for Bummer, it is a good sign that he is getting goofy swings. While he has maintained his elite ability to keep the ball on the ground and miss barrels in 2024, we haven't seen him miss bats like he did previously. If he is doing things like he did to Taveras, the best is yet to come with Bummer.

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