2019 Atlanta Braves Player Review: Josh Tomlin

The Braves gave Josh Tomlin a role with few expectations, and he lived up to them. Pitching mostly in long relief, Tomlin got 4 outs or more in 25 of his 50 relief appearances. He put up a 3.74 ERA, and had a 1.122 WHIP, largely fueled by walking only 7 batters in his 79 1/3 innings. He allowed 82 hits and struck out 51.

Tomlin was signed in March after spending 9 seasons in Cleveland and a failed Spring tryout with the Brewers. Josh was mostly a starter in Cleveland, and he led the A.L in shutouts in 2014 with 5. However, in 2018 he was coming off of a 6.14 ERA and 1.479 WHIP.

Tomlin was trusted with the 7th most innings pitched of any Brave, behind only the 5 starters, and by 2/3 of an inning, Kevin Gausman. Despite this, Josh was only involved in 3 decisions: 2 wins and a loss. He finished 21 games and had 2 saves. He also started a game. 65% of his batters faced were in low leverage situations.

There are arguments that the long relief role is a good way to break young starters into the majors, but the Braves elected to go with a 34 year old veteran. Sometimes you need that long reliever to take a beating, or possibly to throw more pitches than might otherwise be healthy. I’m reminded of what the eponymous walk-on was told in the movie “Rudy” – “Your greatest value to us is we don’t care if you get hurt.” With Tomlin now a free agent, we will see if the Braves will go young or old in 2020.

Author: Rusty S.

Rusty S. is a Braves Journal reader since 2005 and an occasional innings-eater. It was my understanding that there would be no expectations.

9 thoughts on “2019 Atlanta Braves Player Review: Josh Tomlin”

  1. Anybody home?

    How about Leeds 4-0 over Borough? Man City dropping 2 more points? (Its is also possible you are all watching the wrong shaped ball this afternoon).


  2. Josh Tomlin is one of those pitchers who evoked a negative reaction the moment you looked up and saw Snit had let him in. Not up to this situation you told yourself. Too stressful.

    The funny thing was, much more often than not, he did precisely what was required. Which did not stop the same feeling in you the next time.


    Be grateful that your manager has not been sent home in despair like ours. Lovely guy, terribly sad, it took a year to realize the number one problem was he was incapable of learning the English language with the idioms necessary to communicate with young, modern stars.

    Failed in Paris with French and Russian(!), in London with English.

    He was Basque. Very piquant, quel dommage.


    Unai Emery
    will live long in the memory
    failure at this level endures
    and just like Game 4 there appear to be no cures.

  3. My soccer knowledge consists of knowing there’s a white and black ball you kick, and the idea is you put it in the net. I never could get into it.

    Tomlin is, well, meh. It’s hard to feel strongly one way or another, because hopefully you’re only seeing those types of pitchers either up or down by 7.

  4. Is soccer really a pro sport? I thought it was only played as a coed sport for kids 12 and under.

    I’m still pretty sad about the Bama game but it was one of the best I’ve seen in a while. Maybe Bama should be scouting soccer teams for kickers.

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