The Braves felt they had sorted out their bullpen issues with a trio of trade-deadline acquisitions, but it hasn’t turned out that way. Jeff Schultz of The Athletic (subscription link) recently examined the situation, featuring the thoughts of GM Alex Anthopoulos.
More than anything, the Atlanta roster architect suggested, the difficulties are simply a rough section of the sample-size roller-coaster. “I just think it’s a two-week period and guys aren’t performing at their best,” he says. Anthopoulos says that the club would not “just ignore it” if a player was not performing over a longer stretch, but suggested the organization doesn’t yet feel that point has been reached.
It’d obviously be foolish for the Braves to give up on their three new relief arms — Shane Greene, Chris Martin, and Mark Melancon. Greene was solid all year long before he became the club’s key acquisition. The other two have produced sparkling K/BB and groundball numbers in Atlanta. It’s equally difficult to ignore just how rough the results have been. Through a dozen cumulative frames, each of those three hurlers has allowed more than an earned run for every inning thrown.