The league-best Atlanta Braves don’t have much in the way of flaws on the roster, but one area of need heading into the 2023 MLB Trade Deadline was the bullpen. Atlanta picked one notable reliever in Pierce Johnson, and now a second with Brad Hand. Here’s a closer look at Hand.
A Look at Hand
Hand’s ERA rose to 4.54 in Colorado, up from his 2.80 figure from a year earlier. However, Hand’s strikeout numbers are up, and his Chase% rate rose almost seven percent from 2022. His BB% is also down from last season, but still up from his career average of 8.7%.
All in all, Hand’s season was not bad given the hitter-friendly environment. He can still get outs with his sweeping slider, and can change looks with it, along with his four-seamer and sinker. Hand might not be the elite closer he was back with Cleveland, but he’s nonetheless still an effective lefty.
Hand has a mutual option of $7M for the 2024 campaign. Minor Leaguer Alec Barger is the player that will head to Colorado.
What it Means for the Braves
Just a week after the Braves acquired right-hander Pierce Johnson from the Rockies, Atlanta picks up another arm from the Colorado bullpen in Hand. Johnson struck out and didn’t allow a run in his first three appearances as a Brave (2.2 IP).
With so many injuries to the Braves bullpen, it’s not a shock to see Atlanta seek out another arm to insulate a bullpen that include Raisel Iglesias, A.J. Minter, Kirby Yates, and Joe Jimenez. Now, the Braves have another lefty to pair with Minter, important given that Dylan Lee is still on the IL.