Nobody knows what the Braves will look like as a team in July; with Marcell Ozuna gone indefinitely, Atlanta has struggled to produce runs. The bullpen has been a massive issue, and the losses of Mark Melancon and Darren O’Day have proven detrimental. The Braves will undoubtedly have to add another bat and some bullpen pieces if they want to get back to being a playoff contender. Unless something major changes and the team as a whole gets hot, the Braves are going to have to buy if they’re in the thick of the NL East race. With Atlanta currently sitting five games back of the NL East lead, they still only have two fewer wins than the Mets and Phillies, who are ahead of them in the standings. Perhaps the Braves will be out of contention by then, but there is cause for hope.
Yesterday it was reported, Mike Soroka, Huascar Ynoa, and Travis d’Arnaud are all expected to return in August. That is a massive influx of talent, especially considering how well Ynoa was playing in 2021. Travis d’Arnaud was a man possessed during the 2020 postseason, and Mike Soroka is an ace when healthy. The moves that the team made during the 2020 deadline did nothing to move the needle. The Robbie Erlin experiment was a massive failure, but it pales compared to the massive disappointment that Tommy Milone was for the team.
Robbie Erlin in 2020 (ATL): 5 starts, 23.1 IP, 28 H, 22 ER, 8 HR
Tommy Milone in 2020 (ATL): 3 starts, 9.2 IP, 22 H, 16 ER, 4 HR
At least Erlin was acquired off waivers; Milone was actually part of a trade. With Cole Hamels providing the Braves with nothing, Atlanta was short-handed in the postseason — dooming them against the Dodgers. While the lack of a deal for Mike Clevinger looks good in hindsight as he had Tommy John surgery, the Braves cannot make the same bargain-bin moves they did last July. Drew Smyly’s signing was a similar pickup, and it has been a disaster. Charlie Morton has been better, but not great. If the Braves are in contention, they have to make an impact move for some facet of the team.
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