The Braves swung two significant trades this offseason. Sean Murphy was the one that made headlines, but the Joe Jiménez deal will be impactful as well.
He’s not a household name but will soon be in Braves Country. No, he won’t be closing many games for Atlanta, though he notched 20 of them during his time with the Tigers; however, he will play a critical role in setting up for Raisel Iglesias.
Last season, Jiménez posted a 3.49 ERA and 2.00 FIP with 12.2 strikeouts per nine innings to only 2.1 walks per nine. His stuff is nasty, featuring a downright filthy fastball/slider combination.
The lumbering righty is coming to Atlanta from Detroit, a stark difference in expectations. The Tigers haven’t played meaningful baseball in October in nearly a decade, while the Braves are legitimately in a World Series-or-bust period. It’s provided extra motivation for Joe Jiménez.
“That’s the most important part, and that’s going to be the difference between last year and this year for me, at least personally,” Jiménez said via AJC. “Obviously, being on this team, it’s just unbelievable, just because everybody here wants to win. Everybody’s on board to win a World Series. That’s what I want. I want to contribute and help however I can to make that happen.”
What’s even more impressive is his 2022 campaign came with significant back pain. Jiménez’s spectacular season ended because of a right lumbar spine strain, which required surgery, but the expectation is he’ll be ready for Opening Day. The Braves knew about this injury before the trade; the club would’ve never agreed to the deal had they known he was going to miss a significant portion of the 2023 season.
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