Left Behind No. 5: Greg McMichael

Bledsoe:

greg mcmichael.jpgRighthanded Reliever
Seasons with Braves:1993-96, 2000
Career Stats with Braves:18-14, 44 SV, 334 IP, 2.96 ERA, 1.21 WHIP

Greg’s omission from the Immortals is, I think, due to the short shrift middle relievers get whenever stats are thrown around. But Greg was probably the best setup man in the league during his first stint with the Braves, and it’s easy to underestimate his impact.

Greg came out of nowhere in a blaze of glory. He finished second in Rookie of the Year voting when he took over the closing duties midseason from the faltering Mike Stanton. His 44 saves put him tied for 9th all-time in the franchise books. But it was primarily as an 8th inning man that he shone. You just knew he was going to hand the lead to the closer, despite the fact that he seemed to be throwing nothing but meatballs. His control was that good. The only Atlanta Braves pitchers that I can find who 1) threw any real body of innings and 2) had a lower ERA are Maddux, Rocker, Remlinger, and Terry Forster.

Mac overrates Remlinger in my book, but both McMichael and Remlinger belong in the 44. I would take Greg over Mike, but only by a slim nod.

Mac’s Bonus Take: I left McMichael off the original list, but I think now that he has a real case. His stats aren’t as good as Remlinger’s, but they are good, and his year as the closer was the best (by Win Shares) by a Braves reliever in the nineties. Kerry Ligtenberg is probably a shade behind McMichael because in his last couple of years he was throwing mostly low-leverage innings. McMichael and Ligtenberg were both, of course, essentially free talent, two guys whom nobody else wanted. The only pitchers with more than 300 IP and sub-3.00 ERAs in Atlanta uniforms are Maddux, Remlinger, and McMichael in that order.

Greg McMichael Statistics – Baseball-Reference.com

11 thoughts on “Left Behind No. 5: Greg McMichael”

  1. McMichael and Wohlers in 95-96 are as good as Remlinger and Smoltz in the early 2000s in my opinion. Those were the days when we actually had professional relievers…

  2. McMichael made Tony Gwynn look like an idiot on multiple occasions. Had him leaning out over the plate and whiffing at each pitch, then popping up weakly to third base. Pretty exhilirating to see a pitcher manhandle a hitter like him.

  3. I was in Fort Lauderdale for the spring training game in ’93 in which McMichael pretty much made the team. He faced Mattingly and Boggs, two of the most difficult hitters in the game to strike out, and made them look absolutely silly on third strike changeups. They each swung and missed by a foot. Talk about a “Whoa!” moment — the geezers in the stands even stopped wolf-whistling at girls a quarter of their age for, like, about a minute….

  4. I really enjoyed watching him pitch. But to be honest, I now wish I never stumbled upon his name. You see, I confess, I’m a viewer of the DIY network (and HGTV, as well as other networks…) during my nocturnal non-sleeping moments. During one of my sleepless nights, I watched an episode of Major League Remodel starring McMichael. My affection for the man as a pitcher ended there. Frightened? You should be, but here’s the link anyway.

  5. I really enjoyed watching him pitch. But to be honest, I now wish I never stumbled upon his name. You see, I confess, I’m a viewer of the DIY network (and HGTV, as well as other networks…) during my nocturnal non-sleeping moments. During one of my sleepless nights, I watched an episode of Major League Remodel starring McMichael. My affection for the man as a pitcher ended there. Frightened? You should be, but here’s the link anyway.

  6. From the previous thread:

    Several Japanese stars besides Matsuzaka are attracting the interest of major-league clubs, and the contingent of arrivals could end up being the largest of any single offseason.

    The Braves are targeting left-hander Kei Igawa, 27, who has averaged nearly 15 wins for the Hanshin Tigers over the past five seasons. Igawa, like Matsuzaka, will be posted, so the Braves must win the bidding for his negotiating rights to sign him.

    I don’t believe this. If the Braves can honestly say they don’t have the money to afford a year of Tom Glavine, how can they afford to pay enough to win the bidding on Igawa, plus have the money to sign another left-handed. It will be interesting to see if this happens, but I kind of doubt it, unless they trade Tim Hudson, Mike Hampton. A combination of Marcus Giles and Horacio Ramirez won’t free up that much money.

  7. I think it’s fair to say that if we brought Glavine back, with the way he’s been pitching, we’d have one last shot to reclaim the division next year and likely would or could deal Hampton, who’s a far bigger health risk.

  8. This is an interesting selection. It brings up the ethical question, do you chose guys based 100% on regular season, and also take a peek at Post season, Or look at both equally , and or Look harder at post season exploits.
    Please have a peek at this guys post season’s numbers through mac’s link for PS
    I think the worst of the era 91-05, by far, can not think of a worst money player for the Bravos during this time

  9. “It brings up the ethical question, do you chose guys based 100% on regular season, and also take a peek at Post season, Or look at both equally , and or Look harder at post season exploits.”

    Why is that an “ethical” question?

    Sansho 1,

    Don’t mock those geezers; one day you will be there too! I’m 50 and already feeling like a lecherous old man.

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