3. New additions have yet to fix bullpen’s struggles
There’s no way to sugarcoat what’s been happening with the Braves bullpen since the July 31 trade deadline: the pieces that were acquired to shore up the team’s Achilles’ heel simply haven’t.
All-Star closer Shane Greene have given up five runs (all earned) in five games with the Braves (including two blown saves and a loss); Chris Martin has a loss on his ledger with five earned runs in five games and, Mark Melancon, who was moved to the closer role ahead of Saturday’s loss to the Marlins, was tagged for four earned runs, setting the stage for Greene’s second blown save.
Sunday was a step in the right direction as Martin stepped in for Foltynewicz in the seventh and struck out two Marlins. It was Luke Jackson that stepped in to earn his 18th save as Greene and Melancon were used in back-to-back games.
The absence of the August waiver wire deadline compounds for any team looking to address a need. The only fixes now are in-house, or to hope someone is placed on waivers or falls through them and becomes a free agent.
The new Braves have resumes, meaning the hope they can find their grooves on a new team are more than lip service, and there is a laundry list of options in the organization to fall back on. But that this area is still a point of conversation, even after the focus at the deadline, simply mystifies.
Since Aug. 1, only the Orioles bullpen (.480) has allowed a higher wOBA than the Braves’ new-look bullpen at 3.89 and Atlanta has the sixth-highest FIP post-deadline at 5.65.
Follow Cory McCartney on Twitter @coryjmccartney and Facebook. His books, ‘Tales from the Atlanta Braves Dugout: A Collection of the Greatest Braves Stories Ever Told,’ and ‘The Heisman Trophy: The Story of an American Icon and Its Winners.’ are now available.
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