Braves Player Reviews: The Bullpen Carousel and its Misfits

At the end of the offseason, after signing Marcell Ozuna, it was apparent that the Braves were low on money. There was an obvious need in the bullpen, yet the Braves were collecting scrap-heaps in hopes of catching lightning in a bottle. One lone gamble really worked out, Jesse Chavez, but he doesn’t make this list..thankfully. It’s a moment in time that we as Braves fans would like to forget, but no less than 7 pitchers were given MLB contracts with a chance to pile up some relief innings and they failed miserably.

Nate Jones

Want to know what happens when you’re carrying a decent ERA amidst some outings where you’re giving up rockets left and right? Ask Nate Jones. Out of the gate, Nate was the first trial by Anthopoulos and that trial lasted a month. He pitched in 12 games and carried a 3.48 ERA and there was a lot of not good things going on:

  • 10 walks, 1 HBP, and 8 hits including 3 HRs in 10.1 IP
  • 4 earned runs, but 2 more unearned
  • 8.72 FIP due to a .172 BABIP
  • 4 of 8 inherited runners scored

Anthopoulos saw through the ERA and Nate was DFA’d on May 7th. The Dodgers ended up picking him up, obnoxiously thinking they could fix him…didn’t work. This was the first of 2 relievers the Dodgers tried to fix and failed. That makes me happy.

Grant Dayton

It seems so long ago that Grant Dayton was on the hill for the Braves. Granted, until I started doing the research, I’d forgotten that he had appeared in 13 games with the Braves and was a bit of a reverse Nate as he had worse results (6.23 ERA), but better peripherals (4.40 ERA). At the end of the day, Dayton just cannot stay healthy. He’s a pitcher that’s always had swing and miss potential but just cannot stay on the diamond. He stayed on the IL for the rest of the year and recently elected free agency. An easy guy to root for and I hope to see him rebound wherever he lands.

Carl Edwards Jr.

What happens when you designate Nate Jones for assignment? You grab a Hardees biscuit and let it pitch 0.1 innings of disastrous baseball then send it packing. Does he get a ring? Of the ST invites, CEJ was the guy I was most excited about but I think injuries have sidelined his MLB time from here on out.

Ty Tice

Now we’re just getting downright comical. The Braves DFA’d Carl Edwards Jr., the Blue Jays then signed him to a MILB contract. When they deemed him ready, they selected his contract and DFA’d Ty Tice, who was then claimed by the Braves. Tice pitched 1 inning for the Braves, didn’t look particularly good, and was DFA’d and claimed by Arizona where he pitched horribly for their AAA club. Not sure what the Braves found enticing about this guy.

Shane Greene

Supposed to be the savior of the bullpen, Shane Greene almost destroyed it all. If he could do it all over again, I bet he’d have picked up that low ball $2-3MM deal in the 2021 offseason, had a normal spring training, and continued to pitch in the MLB. Now, he’s going to have a hard time getting anything more than a ST invite before 2022. The Braves gave him a pretty large sample, but their hands were tied as he just couldn’t get outs. After 19 appearances, he was carrying an 8.47 ERA and a 1.82 WHIP. He was DFA’d, picked up by the Dodgers and had a slightly better ERA with worse results. Dodgers went 0 for 2 on Braves afterthoughts and that’s always good.

Jesse Biddle

I’ve always liked this dude, but if there’s any bigger example of the widened gap between the MLB and AAA, point it out to me and I’ll bow in your presence. 8.1 innings pitched, Biddle gave up 10 hits and 8 walks which equaled out to an 8.44 ERA. Mercy was called on May 17th and Biddle was DFA’d. He went unclaimed so we accepted his assignment to Gwinnett where he was lights out (2.65 ERA, 14.7 K/9, 4.3 BB/9). I still think there’s a MLB pitcher and I hope he catches on somewhere.

Jay Flaa

When one of the worst teams in baseball designates a player for assignment, DON’T CLAIM HIM! The Orioles cut bait, Braves claimed said bait, and the results were bad. Do they not teach logic in schools these days? In 1.1 innings, Flaa was anything but Flaawless and he got gone quick. He went unclaimed, was outrighted to AAA and was still bad.

Author: Ryan Cothran

Ryan is the site editor and manager of Braves Journal. Follow him on Twitter.

28 thoughts on “Braves Player Reviews: The Bullpen Carousel and its Misfits”

  1. Heading to a Domincan League game tonight and I think one of the teams is Ozuna’s team. I’ll report back.

  2. On September 8th Shane Greene gave up a run to the Cardinals in a game the Dodgers lost 5-4.

    Prior to that, Nate Jones gave up three runs in a May 26th 5-2 loss to the Astros.

    Those loses were a big reason the Dodgers were a wild card team and helped Dave Roberts tax his pitching staff.

    Those guys are heroes!

  3. I choose to believe that “Ty Tice” is a whimsical name for a ballplayer that you inserted into this piece to see if we were paying attention. He sounds like a country singer in a Hollywood movie or a player on a Nintendo baseball game from back before they got the rights from the Players Association to use the names of the players.

    I refuse to consider the possibility that anyone of that name actually played baseball, and under no circumstances will I click the link to check.

  4. Dusty, are you on vacation in the Dominican? That’s awesome that you get to watch some good Dominican League baseball while you’re there. Great timing.

  5. Lars Nootbaar has the greatest name that anyone has ever been given. His parents should win an EGOT.

  6. Greetings from Virginia Beach, Va., (and happy pre-Turkey Day to all)…

    Jeez, what a lineup… woo, Shane Greene…

    Anyone named Ty or Cy smacks of a 19th-Century birth.

    Fave baseball name: the ’70s platoon guy Alan Mitchell Edward George Patrick Henry Gallagher (aka “Dirty Al” Gallagher).

    But my all-time favorite sports name remains the African Olympian hoopster, Anicet Lavodrama.

  7. @32 So the Braves would take on Price’s full 32M for next season?Not sure I like that idea. No one is even sure he can pitch as a starter now. I definitely want the Braves to rid themselves of Ozuna though.

  8. @8, my favorite sports name was from I believe the early 1980s when Memphis State (back before it dropped the “State”) had a pretty good basketball player named Baskerville Holmes.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all.

  9. Thought this tweet from Bill James, promoting his 2022 Handbook, was interesting.

    “We count an Intentional Walk as a “Bomb”, meaning that it blew up on the manager, if MULTIPLE runs are scored that inning after the IBB. Dave Martinez this year was hit by 11 bombs with 46 IBB . Brian Snitker had none, 0 for 34. Bill James Handbook 2022, page 496.”

    Pretty sure there was at least one of these in the postseason, as I think Matzek IBB’d the other Will Smith in NLCS game 2 and Jackson then Grybo’d two runners.

  10. @13

    Game 5 of the World Series, as well. The intentional walk to Bregman and then Minter couldn’t throw a strike to Maldonado because he was standing on the plate situation.

  11. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! This is the one day where comas are expected. Stuff yourselves with a smorgasbord of food, family, and friends. 1❤️

  12. “Do they not teach logic in schools these days?”

    Loved it.

    Happy Thanksgiving, my friends.

    I am forever grateful for you.

  13. Happy Thanksgiving to all! I’m grateful to all of you who make this a special place—and especially to Ryan for all you do to keep it going.

  14. @4

    I still have a Super Nintendo and play Ken Griffey Presents from time to time. The names on each team actually have a theme, it’s a lot of fun to try to figure them out. For instance Baltimore’s players are named after John Waters characters, Detroit is Motown artists, Dodgers and Mets are LA and NY punk luminaries. Some teams are random like horror movie actors and directors for the Rockies or superhero alter egos for the Brewers. Great game.

  15. I’m thankful for you guys and a Braves World Series championship. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

  16. @22: As fond as I am of Mr. Gross, Turkey was not his given name, which was Ewell. He is, however, a stalwart on the All-Edible team, along with Pickles Schlosser, Pie Traynor, Eddie Bacon, Bob Lemon, Jake Lamb, Seth Beer, Pretzels Getzien, String Bean Williams, Mark Hamburger and, of course, making due allowance for Spanish orthography, Pedro Borbon.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all…

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