A month ago, I wasn’t sure we’d ever see Sean Newcomb in a Braves uniform again. However, injuries to several relievers along with expanded rosters have given him at least one more chance in Atlanta, and so far, he’s making the most of it.
Last night, Newcomb was asked to pitch the eighth and ninth innings of a tight ball game against the Rockies, and he flashed why he was once one of the Braves’ top prospects, striking out four and allowing just one baserunner. It was Newcomb’s third appearance since being called back up to the major-league club, and he’s allowed just one run over four innings while striking out eight.
If it seems like we’ve been here before, it’s because we have… several times. The hard-throwing lefty has bounced from starter to reliever with limited success in both roles. We’ve seen him look unhittable at times, like when he tossed 8 2/3 innings of no-hit baseball against the Dodgers. Newcomb’s also had plenty of success out of the bullpen in the past, serving as one of the primary set-up men back in 2019 and posting a 3.04 ERA over 53.1 innings.
The stuff has always been there for Newcomb. Few players on this planet can toss the ball in the high-90s from the left side with a wicked curveball. The problem has always been control. It is exciting to see him back on the mound in a Braves uniform having some success, but it’s best for Braves fans to temper their expectations. We’ve seen this story plenty of times; Newcomb has had a bevy of opportunities to carve out a role for himself as both a starter and reliever. As clutch as it would be if he finally figured it out in September and into the postseason, that’s not something the Braves should be realistically expecting.