As the season wraps up, I’ll be handing out my accolades to the Braves players that impacted this team the most. If you missed any of the previous editions to this series, follow the link below.
Braves best reliever in 2023
The Braves bullpen isn’t full of flashy, high-powered arms like many around the league. That could come back to bite them in October. There’s no doubt that velocity plays in the postseason, particularly in the biggest moments. But in the regular season, Atlanta’s bullpen was among the best.
A.J. Minter struggled to begin the season, but he has bounced back over the last several months to put together another really solid campaign. Michael Tonkin has been a revelation after being out of Major League Baseball for five years. Joe Jimenez proved to be a worthwhile addition in the offseason. Nick Anderson was one of the league’s best bargains before going down with injury, and Pierce Johnson has been lights out since the Braves acquired him at the trade deadline.
But when I look at the numbers from Atlanta’s relievers, two guys pop out. Jesse Chavez was having a career year before suffering a micro-fracture in his shin that cost him several months. Still, he’s back and has managed to post a ridiculous 1.42 ERA with a 10.2 K/9 over 33 appearances. His presence in the Braves bullpen could prove to be monumental in October, but because he missed so much time, I have to give this honor to Raisel Iglesias.
The Braves closer began the year on the IL with a shoulder injury, and when he came back, there were some bumpy rides. But since July, Iglesias has been downright dominant, posting a 1.86 ERA over 30 appearances, and he’s doing it in the biggest moments at the end of games. He’s been the Braves most reliable reliever for the bulk of the season, and hopefully, his recent success continues into October.
Photo: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire