MLB.com recently did an article highlighting a player from each team with the most to prove down the stretch. You can probably make a good guess at who the Braves’ player might be — closer, Kenley Jansen. Here’s what they had to say about the longtime Dodger:
Jansen surrendered a pair of ninth-inning homers in Sunday’s loss to the Mariners and has now blown three of his past seven save opportunities. The veteran closer has tallied a MLB-high 33 saves, but his inconsistency over the past month has created reason to wonder if he should stay in the same role. Raisel Iglesias has been effective since being acquired on Aug. 2. While Iglesias could be an effective closer, the Braves would be at their best with both Iglesias and Jansen heading into the postseason feeling confident in their respective roles.
If you follow the site, you know how I feel about Jansen. He has no business being the closer anymore, but it looks like Brian Snitker is going to stick with him, so he will have a chance to prove his doubters (like me) wrong.
However, I will go in a different direction when it comes to the Brave with the most to prove coming down the stretch. I think it’s Matt Olson, and frankly, I don’t think it’s close.
When the Braves acquired Olson, they viewed him as comparable to Freddie Freeman. He hasn’t been anywhere close to that this season, accruing just 2.6 WAR. This was one of the most pivotal moves in franchise history and could determine whether the Braves become a dynasty or just a one-hit-wonder. So far, Olson has massively underachieved, but everyone will forget about that if he ends the season hot and shows out in the playoffs.
Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire
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