If you watched Alex and I’s recent YouTube video where we grade the entire Braves offseason, you know how unbelievably excited I am to see this Atlanta bullpen work. In my lifetime, I don’t know if we’ve ever seen a relief core so talented, which is critical in today’s game where relievers are relied on more than ever. I think you could make the argument that the Braves have multiple relievers that are among the top 10 in baseball, so I’m more surprised they only had one make MLB Network’s list of the best bullpen pieces in the game.
The guy who did make the cut, though, was the newly acquired Collin McHugh, coming in at number six.
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) March 23, 2022
McHugh recorded a 1.55 ERA last season for the Rays, and his peripherals are enough to make a baseball nerd drool. It doesn’t matter what advanced statistic you look at on Baseball Savant; he’s in the top 20% of all major leaguers. His frisbee-like slider is his go-to offering. Opponents hit .171 off the pitch last season and slugged just .262. Braves fans will love having McHugh in their bullpen this season and beyond.
I would argue Tyler Matzek belongs on this list. When crunch time arrives in the postseason, nobody has been better than him over the last couple of seasons. Kenley Jansen also deserves some consideration. He’s been one of the most dominant closers in the game for a decade now. However, Major League Baseball is filled with filthy arms coming out of the bullpen. So while I think those two arms are deserving, I’m not sure who I would remove to make room for them. Either way, the Braves have put together one of the most exciting bullpens of all time, and I’m giddy to watch them work this season.
— SportsTalkATL.com (@SportsTalkATL) March 23, 2022