For a man that carried a 3.04 ERA, a 1.15 WHIP, a 2.2 BB/9 and an 11.7 K/9, Joe Jimenez didn’t exactly endear himself to Braves fans and I can’t understand why. He also didn’t endear himself to his manager as Michael Tonkin, Kirby Yates, A.J. Minter, and Collin McHugh all pitched more innings than Jimenez, despite Jimenez being much more effective (and healthy). McHugh and Tonkin are both understandable as their roles were different, but both Yates and Minter struggled with command quite often in 2023, while Jimenez was around the zone regularly.
Jimenez has been in the bigs 7 years now and has really found his groove these past 2. However, I feel like he was misused by Snitker as the majority of his innings came in low leverage situations. Granted, the Braves were blowing people out most of the time so maybe there were just more low-leverage innings to cover. Still, I’d like to see Jimenez stick in the 8th inning role for the next 3 years.
AA didn’t flirt with Jimenez this offseason, but got straight to the point and signed the reliever to a 3 year/$26MM deal. Along with Pierce Johnson, who also received an extension, the Braves look to have a strong 7/8/9 combo heading into the 2024 season. As it currently stands, the Braves bullpen has A.J. Minter, Tyler Matzek, Dylan Lee, Joe Jimenez, Pierce Johnson, and Raisel Iglesias. I’d love for AA to get one more stud to lock it down air tight.