Braves 2022 Player Review: Raisel Iglesias

Raisel Iglesias became a Brave on Aug. 2, as they sent the nomadic Jesse Chavez and Tucker Davidson to Anaheim for the right-handed reliever. He hadn’t gotten great results for the Angels to that point, collecting a 4.04 ERA over 39 appearances. However, he had 48 strikeouts to just nine walks, and his WHIP wasn’t that bad at 1.07. His FIP was most of a point lower than his ERA (3.17). So it seemed like a chance worth taking, particularly since all we really gave up was Tucker Davidson, whose future with the Braves was at least a little questionable. (We gave up Chavez, too, but he was basically DFA fodder and we got him back later anyway.)

It paid off in a big way, as Iglesias immediately became (in my mind) the team’s best option out of the bullpen. With the Braves, he accumulated an ERA of 0.34 over 28 appearances, allowing just a single earned run (and two runs total) after moving to Truist Park. He did most of this out of the seventh-inning slot, and I found myself wishing that Snit had used him in a couple more late-and-close situations.

In a tale as old as time (assuming you’ve been around as a Braves fan longer than two years), unfortunately, the small sample size thunderdome of the playoffs bit Raisel. He had an uneventful scoreless eighth inning (1 hit, 1 K) in the Game 2 win, but he was tasked with keeping the Braves alive in Game 4 down 4-2 with two on and two out in the sixth inning and it didn’t go so well. He allowed four straight baserunners (3 singles and a walk) before finally getting out of it, allowing both inherited runners and one of his own to score. When the inning ended, the Braves were down 7-2 and the season was all but over.

Be that as it may, he’s the heir apparent to the departed Kenley Jansen as the closer for the Braves, and I’m looking forward to watching him in the role. While I don’t think we can expect quite the same dominance we got the final two months of last season, Iglesias has six seasons above 15 saves (topping out twice at 34) and a career 3.00 ERA. His 2021 season with the Angels featured 34 saves, a 2.57 ERA and a 0.93 WHIP over 65 appearances with 103 strikeouts to just 12 walks. I think he’s more than capable of taking over the featured spot in the bullpen, and it’s good to have a solution there going into the 2023 season.

18 thoughts on “Braves 2022 Player Review: Raisel Iglesias”

  1. In general, relievers are volatile, inconsistent, and prone to injury; Raisel Iglesias is consistently very good to excellent. He has pitched a full season every year of his career and has really never had a bad year. (He was mediocre by FIP in 2018, and by ERA in 2019, when he went 3-12 with a 4.16 ERA as the closer for a 75-87 team, but he wasn’t really that bad. He got victimized by some bad luck on homers.) He’s one of the surer bets at the back-end of the bullpen as you can find in the league.

    Love the guy.

  2. The Iglesias trade was kind of baffling for the Angels, to be honest. It’s the kind of trade you make if you’re trying to cut costs and move into a rebuild, but Anaheim is at least nominally trying to compete, and Davidson is really just a token return. It’s not like Iglesias is ridiculously overpaid or anything. And the Angels would go on to spend the savings on… Tyler Anderson and Brandon Drury?

    Oh well, their loss is the Braves’ gain.

  3. @2

    The Angels are a lost franchise. The Pujols and Rendon signings were backbreaking for the long term. They could use a little AA in their decision making.

  4. Pujols’s contract is over, and there’s not a franchise in baseball that should have its fortunes wrecked by a Rendon-sized mistake. They’re just not very bright.

    Scuttlebutt is that ownership will spend on names but cheaps out on everything else, including player development. I’ll be curious to see if their fortunes improve at all once Moreno sells — but that probably won’t happen soon enough to convince Ohtani to stick around.

  5. Exactly. Seems that Moreno has meddled a LOT. They spend money poorly, and don’t spend money intelligently, and that’s all down to number one.

  6. Greetings from Rio de Janeiro!

    I thoroughly enjoyed every second that I was able to watch of the CFB playoff semifinals (every second of the Michigan game with a Michigan alum and the last 10 game minutes of the UGA/OSU game; must see television). With that said, you cannot tell me there is not parity in college football and there’s a single dominant team. Michigan was favored but made way too many mistakes; an elite team, they are not. Ohio State had their game handedly won and then made way too many mistakes. I didn’t see a single elite team all day, Bama included. College football is wide open once again. Give me a 12 team playoff, and I guarantee you some 6 seed takes home the trophy one day.

  7. @5 they just seem to make bad decisions. I’ve had them lumped together with the Rockies in my head for awhile.

  8. #7
    Newsflash: There’s an undefeated team that’s won 32 of its last 33 games that’s also about to play for a 2nd consecutive national title. That’s the very definition of elite.

  9. @9 Do it in the West and we’ll talk. You know that I know that the East ain’t what it was. You also have no rivalry game. Your West yearly opponent is a joke.

    At minimum, play a schedule like Florida’s that has LSU and FSU on it every year. And if we’re being fair, play Bama’s schedule. Bama earned their dynasty fair and square. Nick Lou started his dynasty by beating Urban on the field when we were at our peak. He then had to beat the West year-in, year-out. Sorry man, beating Vandy, SCar, 6-6 Florida, UT, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, and the corpse of Auburn ain’t all that you guys say it is. And that’s why you guys can do it with 2022 Greg McElroy.

  10. I think we’re past the point of the UGA mini-dynasty where we can’t attribute much to anything other than the fact that they’re a transcendent team right now producing a TON of NFL talent, coached by a great HC.

    I also think that the West isn’t as dominant as it used to be and that Tennessee’s rise and SCAR’s improvement has offset some of that dominance imbalance.

    And its rich to talk about UF’s scheduling as I don’t think they’ve yet played a non-conference road game west of the Mississippi. I’ll give you LSU, but FSU sucks and has for a decade.

    You have a very hard time separating your rivalry biases from reality, we’ve noticed.

  11. #10
    Let’s see… in its last 33 games, UGA has beaten:

    #25 Missouri
    #8 Cincinnati
    #3 Clemson
    #8 Arkansas
    #18 Auburn
    #11 Kentucky
    #2 Michigan
    #1 Alabama
    #11 Oregon
    #1 Tennessee
    #14 LSU
    #4 Ohio State.

    Four of those games were played in Athens.

    To borrow from a columnist, “Got anybody else?”

  12. To say the least, I’m no UGA backer (I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know). If they win back-to-back national championships, however, we’re well past the point where it makes any sense to quibble about division-based schedule strength and how strong their non-conference in-state rival is. If they win next week they’re the best program in all of college football, and there’s not a whole lot anybody can say about it within reason. I’m not a fan of that, but it’s very tough to argue against it in good faith.

  13. Yes, but this is Braves Journal… what’s faith got to do with it? What does the Palm Beach Mangrove Island Times think of it?

  14. I know UGA has to be on the upswing, since they’ve won their last 5 games against Yale. Yale was 5-1 in the first 6 meetings.

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