Braves: The dominant version of Raisel Iglesias is back

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Raisel Iglesias was traded to the Braves at last year’s deadline for Jesse Chavez and Tucker Davidson. It was a deal that was more about the Angels offloading salary than receiving valuable prospects in return, and boy is the front office in Los Angeles punching themselves for pulling the trigger in the final minutes leading up to the trade deadline.

Iglesias proved to be unhittable last year over the final two months, boasting a 0.34 ERA. He allowed just one earned run over 28 appearances. Meanwhile, the Angels went all in this season with Shohei Ohtani‘s free agency looming, a move that has blown up in their face, but you know what could have really helped their cause… a dominant closer.

(Not to mention, Jesse Chavez is currently back with the Braves organization and Tucker Davidson was recently designated for assignment)

That’s exactly what Raisel Iglesias has been for the Braves of late. He began the season on the injured list with a shoulder issue but returned in early May. However, he didn’t quite look anything like the pitcher he was for the Braves in 2022. By the middle of July, he had a 4.23 ERA, and it wasn’t absurd to think Alex Anthopoulos could be in the market for another closer for the second year in a row at the trade deadline. However, since July 18th, there hasn’t been a relief pitcher in baseball better than Raisel Iglesias.

Over his last 16 appearances, Iglesias hasn’t given up a run. He’s also struck out 23 batters, and his 1.14 FIP suggests there hasn’t been a lot of luck involved. Opponents are hitting just .130 off of him over that stretch with a .190 on-base percentage and .148 slugging percentage — good for a measly .338 OPS.

Iglesias is once again proving to be one of the most dominant closers in baseball, which is what he’s been for the majority of his career. He now owns a much more respectable 2.68 ERA on the season, converting 26 of his 28 save opportunities. When the game is on the line in October, there are few people I would trust more than Raisel Iglesias at this moment.

Photo: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire

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