Braves old friend in new threads thriving with White Sox

ECJ230402017 ATL WAS

Alex Anthopoulos swung a number of trades this offseason. Some were much more impactful than others, but one that caught a lot of headlines because of the sheer size of it was the Braves’ 5-for-1 trade with the White Sox for Aaron Bummer.

Of course, the headliner in the deal going back to Chicago was Michael Soroka, who was joined by Riley Gowens, Nicky Lopez, Braden Shewmake, and Jared Shuster. It was quite the deal for the White Sox, who received a ton of potential major-league talent in return for just one reliever, whom they didn’t have much use for going into a rebuild. However, it hasn’t been Michael Soroka who has stolen the show thus far for Chicago.

That would be left-handed pitcher Jared Shuster. A year ago, the former first-round pick shockingly made the Braves rotation out of Spring Training. It was evident Alex Anthopoulos and company liked what they saw out of him, but like his stint in the majors, that fondness quickly faded.

The Braves clearly felt all five players included in this trade never had a shot at contributing in Atlanta during this competitive window, so they flipped them for whatever they could get. I can’t say I disagree with the decision, but perhaps they were wrong about Jared Shuster, who is finding success for the White Sox early this season out of the bullpen.¬†Through four appearances in long relief, he boasts a more than respectable 3.00 ERA over 12 innings.

The sample size is small, and Shuster is never going to be the starting pitcher the Braves originally hoped he would be when they drafted him 25th overall in the 2020 MLB Draft. However, he is showing signs that there could potentially be a role for him at the major-league level. On a competitive team like the Braves? Probably not, but many pitchers with a lot worse stuff have carved out long careers for themselves by making the switch to the bullpen. Perhaps Shuster can do the same.

Photographer: Charles Brock/Icon Sportswire

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