Let’s skip back to 2017. The Braves were, quite frankly, a below average team that did flash some young talent. The bullpen was a huge issue, but the team’s best reliever was Sam Freeman, a former Cardinals product who had recently finished short stints with the Texas Rangers and Milwaukee Brewers. The lefty had a 2.55 ERA in 58 appearances, and though he had reverse splits, was a valuable asset to manager Brian Snitker.
Then 2018 happened. Freeman had a horrendous case of the “walk-sies”, and quite frankly, was a nightmare to watch out there during June and July. Even as a believer in his talent, it got to the point where it was highly questionable as to why Brian Snitker kept going to him seemingly every night. Most fans were calling for the Braves to DFA him. Eventually, when the Braves got some bullpen help around the deadline, Freeman was stashed on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation.
Ever since Freeman has returned, he has looked like his old self. He is still yet to give up a run since being reinstated from the DL, now going on 13 appearances. What is an even better sign is that Freeman has only allowed a single walk in this time as well.
Brian Snitker’s loyalty seems to have paid off this time with Freeman looking great heading into the postseason. Lefty relievers do not grow on trees and Atlanta controls Freeman through 2021. Hopefully, now that he is healthy, he can help this team when called upon in October.