AA used some of his cheat code skill at the trade deadline, adding Pierce Johnson to the bullpen. That move was so good he’ll be back in ’24. I’m pretty excited AA struck quickly and Johnson will be back for 2024. Details on the deal may be found here.
I say cheat code, of course, because Braves country scratched its head when AA signed Johnson. The righty with the nasty wrinkle was 1-5 with a 6.00 ERA at the time. Of course, Johnson pitched for the Rockies in Coors Field, but I doubt anyone expected just two earned runs the rest of the season.
Johnson appeared in 24 games for the Braves. He allowed just two earned runs and ended the season with an ERA of 4.02. In a word, he was sensational! After taking the loss in his first appearance for the Braves, Pierce didn’t allow a run in his next 10 outings. He struck out 14 and walked just three during that stretch. His Baseball Savant page shows some savage numbers, including a 33% whiff rate, and 31% K rate.
The dope on Johnson, the deeper you look, is mind-numbing. He had a 0.76 ERA in 23.2 innings with Atlanta. He struck 32 and walked 5. And – wait for it – his WHIP with the Braves, was a minuscule 0.89. Johnson’s career WHIP is 1.38, an indication of how special he was this year. He was Raisel Iglesias-ish from 2022, when Iglesias came over from the Angels at the deadline.
AA’s cheat code was on brand with this one. Here’s to a similar 2024!