Predicting the Atlanta Braves bullpen hierarchy for 2024

The Braves bullpen is loaded with talented pitchers. But exactly how will the pecking order shake out?
Division Series - Atlanta Braves v Philadelphia Phillies - Game Four
Division Series - Atlanta Braves v Philadelphia Phillies - Game Four / Kevin D. Liles/Atlanta Braves/GettyImages
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The Atlanta Braves have a bullpen that could end up being the envy of the entire league. While it's highly likely they don't get any All-Star selections from this group, the quality depth could lead them toward another highly ranked finish in terms of collective bullpen WAR.

Alex Anthopoulos has pretty much always invested resources (both money in free agency and trading prospects) since he became the GM in Atlanta. Modern bullpen's don't necessarily have defined roles like they once did, but that won't stop manager Brian Snitker from attempting to utilize these relivers in familiar situations to get the best out of them.

Now that we are inching ever closer toward Spring Training and know the guys who are likely to pitch in relief for Atlanta this year, we will now attempt to put together some sort of bullpen hierarchy. We know each reliever isn't going to be restricted to appearing in certain situations, but we can at least provide our expectations for when fans most likely can expect to see their favorite relievers jog out to the mound.

The proven and the trusted

Raisel Iglesias
Chicago Cubs v Atlanta Braves / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

Closer: Raisel Iglesias - This was an obvious choice after a season with a sub 3.00 ERA and 30 plus saves racked up. Iglesias' ability to rack up strikeouts and limit walks makes him a great solution for end of game duties. If he chooses to tinker with his pitch mix like I talked about in this article, he may be in for an even better 2024.

Set-up: A.J. Minter - He is one of the most trusted relievers in all of baseball. Snitker will continue to lean on Minter in key situations late in ballgames. Should Iglesias miss any time with injury, we would expect Minter to be the first choice to fill that void.

  • Fangraphs Zips projections: 64 IP, 3.66 ERA, 3.46 FIP, 29.3 K%, 0.9 fWAR

Set-up: Pierce Johnson - Once you get past Minter, you really run into a bunch of guys who have the talent to pitch in high-leverage spots. It's all going to come down to which guys are pitching effectively in any given week. Johnson was a trusted weapon once he came over at the trade deadline, and he was the first signing AA made this offseason. It's clear they really like him.

  • Fangraphs Zips projections: 51.1 IP, 4.04 ERA, 3.78 FIP, 31.3 K%, 0.4 fWAR

Middle relief/High-Leverage: Joe Jimenez - He started slowly last year, but as he got healthier the results started to become better and better. By seasons end Jimenez was a trusted guy out of the bullpen and one Atlanta really wanted to bring back. Thus, they signed him to a three-year deal to utilize out the bullpen once again.

  • Fangraphs Zips projections: 52.1 IP, 3.61 ERA, 3.85 FIP, 31.2 K%, 0.4 fWAR

Multi-inning Joker: Reynaldo Lopez - We end this group with perhaps the biggest wild card of the Braves bullpen. Lopez was signed back in November, and was told to come to camp stretched out in to perhaps be a starting pitcher. Since then Atlanta has traded for Chris Sale, so the need for Lopez to start isn't really there. However, Lopez could very well be used out the bullpen for both multi-innings assignments, and high-leverage moments. For this reason Fangraphs projects him to have the most innings pitched and the highest fWAR out of ALL Braves relief pitchers.

  • Fangraphs Zips projections: 76 IP, 3.67 ERA, 3.77 FIP, 26.3 K%, 1.1 fWAR