I try not to make too many rash judgements during the first week of the season, but sometimes things lineup too perfectly, and Nick Anderson is one of those players I’m supremely confident in moving forward.
When the Braves signed Anderson to a non-guaranteed deal, I loved the idea as a potential lottery ticket. This was a guy who was an absolute game-changer for the Tampa Bay Rays bullpen since arriving in 2019 after a short stint with the Marlins. In 21 games that year, he posted a minuscule 2.11 ERA and 17.3 K/9. He then followed it up during the COVID shortened 2022 season with an even better 0.55 ERA and 14.3 K/9 over 16.1 innings.
Unfortunately, Tommy John surgery has limited Anderson to six innings over the last two seasons, but it couldn’t have worked out better for the Braves. They were able to sign him to a deal for less than $1 million this offseason, and he’s poised to be a critical piece of an already ultra-talented group.
Anderson has already made two appearances through four games this season. He did give up a home run to Paul Goldschmidt last night, but are we really going to fault him for that? Goldy has been hitting everything coming his way for over a year now. Outside of that, Anderson hasn’t allowed a hit, recording a 0.375 WHIP and 16.9 K/9.
FanGraphs ranked the Braves bullpen first in all of baseball coming into the season because of guys like Raisel Iglesias, A.J. Minter, Collin McHugh, and Dylan Lee. However, what really puts this group over the top is its depth, and Nick Anderson is going to be a perfect example of that this season.
Photo: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire
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