The Braves bullpen is living up to the hype

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I know there have been some incredible bullpens over the years. A couple of years ago, I had no idea how anybody got a hit off the Dodgers’ relievers. However, I think Atlanta’s unit this year can hold a candle to anyone. So far, they’ve been the best in baseball, which most people thought would be the case coming into the season.

Kenley Jansen has come as advertised. Following a shaky start to his Braves tenure, he’s now eight for eight in save opportunities and boasts an incredible 1.04 FIP. The lefties behind him have been equally as impressive. A.J. Minter‘s playoff success has continued into this season, as he boasts a 1.98 ERA and 13.8 K/9. And has anyone had a better turnaround amongst a fan base than Will Smith? Eight months ago, he was a wanted man in Atlanta; now, I think there’s actually a chance the Braves will pick up his $13 million option for next season.

And the best part about it is this group hasn’t even hit its full stride. Collin McHugh has suffered some abysmal luck, and Tyler Matzek is off to a porous start. There’s also the potential for Kirby Yates to return sometime in August. I don’t want to say this bullpen has the potential to be the best of all time, but if everybody gets grooving at the same time, there haven’t been many better.

Photo: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire



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