Tomorrow, the rosters expand from 26 to 28 players for the month of September, meaning two fresh faces will be joining the Braves for the stretch run. Alex Anthopoulos has plenty of options to choose from, but one that seems obvious is lefty Kyle Muller.
The 23-year-old was forced into major-league action out of necessity after a few injuries, but he quickly proved the stage wasn’t too big for him. In nine appearances (eight starts), Muller recorded a 4.17 ERA, and his 3.65 FIP was even more impressive, suggesting he suffered from some poor luck. However, by the time the Braves decided to send him back to AAA, it was pretty obvious he still had some developing to do before becoming a permanent piece to the rotation… at least I thought.
Since re-joining AAA Gwinnett, Muller has been lights out. He’s made two starts and has yet to allow a run. Hell, he only gave up three hits over those two outings, causing his ERA for the Stripers to fall all the way to 3.04 on the season. That’s even more impressive when you consider Muller began the 2021 campaign by giving up nine earned runs in his fist seven innings over two starts. He’s been nearly unhittable in the minors ever since. Couple that with his performance in the majors, and this has been a huge developmental year for him.
The Braves could prefer to leave Muller in Gwinnett to finish off the year and let him start fresh in the majors next season. However, he’s proven he can be a valuable piece to this club already, and the Braves will likely be looking to add more arms. I think the argument could even be made that he’s a better option than Drew Smyly at this point. At the very least, expect Muller to get a few more looks with the Braves over the final calendar month of the season.