The Braves desperately need an effective left-handed reliever. Though Sam Freeman has been a nice surprise, his splits against lefties are not optimal. Ian Krol and Eric O’Flaherty have been pretty terrible this year, and this is a big problem for Atlanta’s bullpen that has been much improved lately.
Brad Hand could be the answer for the Braves. The Padres southpaw has been lights out ever since being claimed off waivers from the Marlins and making the full-time move to the bullpen last season. With the Padres being one of the worst teams in baseball, he should be available.
Padres recently reaffirmed to other teams that they continue to be open for business; primary guy on the table is LH reliever Brad Hand.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) May 24, 2017
Hand is more than your average LOOGY pitcher. He is highly effective against both lefties and righties. However, his .115 opposing batter’s average this season against lefties is incredible and is something this Braves bullpen desperately needs.
The Braves continue to roll with Krol and O’Flaherty, who is currently on the disabled list. Both have proved to be liabilities out of the bullpen, but it is hard to know whether the Braves will be willing to give up assets for a reliever or whether they will wait it out and hope a young guy steps up. If they do, they will get the services of Hand for this season as well as the next two. The Braves definitely have the prospect depth to get it done, and would cement the bullpen as one of the better units in the league. If the Braves are actually serious about competing, the southpaw dilemma in the bullpen is the first thing that needs to be fixed. Perhaps they are in the process of truing to do so:
Re: Brad Hand, there have been very preliminary discussions. https://t.co/zBiybgcLVC
— Dennis Lin (@dennistlin) May 25, 2017
One can dream, right?