At the end of the offseason, after signing Marcell Ozuna, it was apparent that the Braves were low on money. There was an obvious need in the bullpen, yet the Braves were collecting scrap-heaps in hopes of catching lightning in a bottle. One lone gamble really worked out, Jesse Chavez, but he doesn’t make this list..thankfully. It’s a moment in time that we as Braves fans would like to forget, but no less than 7 pitchers were given MLB contracts with a chance to pile up some relief innings and they failed miserably.
Want to know what happens when you’re carrying a decent ERA amidst some outings where you’re giving up rockets left and right? Ask Nate Jones. Out of the gate, Nate was the first trial by Anthopoulos and that trial lasted a month. He pitched in 12 games and carried a 3.48 ERA and there was a lot of not good things going on:
- 10 walks, 1 HBP, and 8 hits including 3 HRs in 10.1 IP
- 4 earned runs, but 2 more unearned
- 8.72 FIP due to a .172 BABIP
- 4 of 8 inherited runners scored
Anthopoulos saw through the ERA and Nate was DFA’d on May 7th. The Dodgers ended up picking him up, obnoxiously thinking they could fix him…didn’t work. This was the first of 2 relievers the Dodgers tried to fix and failed. That makes me happy.
It seems so long ago that Grant Dayton was on the hill for the Braves. Granted, until I started doing the research, I’d forgotten that he had appeared in 13 games with the Braves and was a bit of a reverse Nate as he had worse results (6.23 ERA), but better peripherals (4.40 ERA). At the end of the day, Dayton just cannot stay healthy. He’s a pitcher that’s always had swing and miss potential but just cannot stay on the diamond. He stayed on the IL for the rest of the year and recently elected free agency. An easy guy to root for and I hope to see him rebound wherever he lands.
What happens when you designate Nate Jones for assignment? You grab a Hardees biscuit and let it pitch 0.1 innings of disastrous baseball then send it packing. Does he get a ring? Of the ST invites, CEJ was the guy I was most excited about but I think injuries have sidelined his MLB time from here on out.
Now we’re just getting downright comical. The Braves DFA’d Carl Edwards Jr., the Blue Jays then signed him to a MILB contract. When they deemed him ready, they selected his contract and DFA’d Ty Tice, who was then claimed by the Braves. Tice pitched 1 inning for the Braves, didn’t look particularly good, and was DFA’d and claimed by Arizona where he pitched horribly for their AAA club. Not sure what the Braves found enticing about this guy.
Supposed to be the savior of the bullpen, Shane Greene almost destroyed it all. If he could do it all over again, I bet he’d have picked up that low ball $2-3MM deal in the 2021 offseason, had a normal spring training, and continued to pitch in the MLB. Now, he’s going to have a hard time getting anything more than a ST invite before 2022. The Braves gave him a pretty large sample, but their hands were tied as he just couldn’t get outs. After 19 appearances, he was carrying an 8.47 ERA and a 1.82 WHIP. He was DFA’d, picked up by the Dodgers and had a slightly better ERA with worse results. Dodgers went 0 for 2 on Braves afterthoughts and that’s always good.
I’ve always liked this dude, but if there’s any bigger example of the widened gap between the MLB and AAA, point it out to me and I’ll bow in your presence. 8.1 innings pitched, Biddle gave up 10 hits and 8 walks which equaled out to an 8.44 ERA. Mercy was called on May 17th and Biddle was DFA’d. He went unclaimed so we accepted his assignment to Gwinnett where he was lights out (2.65 ERA, 14.7 K/9, 4.3 BB/9). I still think there’s a MLB pitcher and I hope he catches on somewhere.
When one of the worst teams in baseball designates a player for assignment, DON’T CLAIM HIM! The Orioles cut bait, Braves claimed said bait, and the results were bad. Do they not teach logic in schools these days? In 1.1 innings, Flaa was anything but Flaawless and he got gone quick. He went unclaimed, was outrighted to AAA and was still bad.