Braves: Jacob Webb is beginning to look like a serviceable bullpen piece once again

webb jacob 2020

It doesn’t take long for fans to turn on a player; just ask Jacob Webb. The good news is they usually come around just as easily — most of them at least.

After his first couple of stints in the majors, Webb was a fan favorite, thanks to a combined 1.06 ERA between 2019-2020. The sample size was minuscule, only 44.2 innings, and his FIP (3.92) suggested he benefitted from plenty of luck. Still, a ridiculous 443 ERA+ through his first two seasons was enough to get everyone excited about Webb moving forward. He figured to be a critical piece to a Braves bullpen that desperately needed right-handed arms and may have been one of the reasons why the Braves were willing to move on from guys like Mark Melancon and Darren O’Day.

Obviously, in hindsight, letting Melancon and O’Day go wasn’t a bright move by Alex Anthopoulos and the front office. Webb began his 2021 campaign incredibly inconsistent. Over his first 16 appearances, he boasted an unsightly 5.63 ERA, but even worse, hitters were batting .338 against him with a .933 OPS, leading to a demotion to Gwinnett back in late May.

However, Webb has made a few sporadic appearances in the majors ever since, and slowly but surely, it looks like he’s securing a place in the bullpen when it matters most. In his last eight appearances (10 innings), Webb’s yet to allow a run, and he got out of a critical jam last night when he came in with two men on and nobody out. Better yet, opponents are only hitting .161 off of him over this stretch with a minuscule .373 OPS.

Webb’s ERA for the season is now down to a much more respectable 3.60, and his career ERA sits at an incredible 2.00 flat over 67.1 innings. That’s nothing to scoff at, and there’s a reason the Braves turned to him when the rosters expanded on September 1st. Webb can be a critical piece to this bullpen down the stretch, and he will be featured on any potential playoff roster if he keeps trending in this direction.


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