The Atlanta Braves bullpen may not have acquired any off-season additions, but it will still improve in 2019. With last season’s trade acquisition Darren O’Day finally healthy Atlanta’s bullpen will be better this season.
Darren O’Day was an afterthought in an Atlanta Braves deadline deal last season. Now he may be one of their biggest additions for the 2019 season. Many fans seem to be overlooking what O’Day is capable of bringing to the team.
O’Day was traded to Atlanta in one of the more savvy trades of the MLB trade deadline last season.
He was already injured and the Braves front office knew he wouldn’t see the field before 2019. It was a savvy move for a Braves front office who continues to prove they know what it takes to build a successful roster.
O’Day is a late-inning option who has limited experience closing games. While he won’t be Atlanta’s first option, he does have the ability to close games with 21 career saves.
O’Day is better suited to be used as a 7th or 8th inning matchup specialist. He will give Atlanta their third late-inning arm and allow the team to rest the back end of their bullpen more so early on in the season.
While there will be some question marks for Darren coming off of an injury it seems likely he will return to form.
O’Day has a career 2.56 ERA though it has been closer to three over the last two seasons. He is likely to benefit from moving to the National League as well.
Though he is moving into a hitter’s park he is used to pitching in a hitter-friendly park. and will be facing less intimidating lineups.
O’Day would be best-suited pitching in the 7th inning offering a bridge to the flamethrowers in the bullpen. It is a role he has thrived in and one that will make the Braves better in 2019.