The Atlanta Braves signed left-handed reliever Chris Rusin to a minor league contract in January and invited him to Spring Training. He stuck around after the subsequent shutdown but failed to make much of an impact with the Braves. His season ended after just one appearance and it remains to be seen whether or not this is the end of the line for the 34-year old reliever.
What went right in 2020?
Rusin made seven appearances for the Braves during the spring allowing eight hits and four runs over 9 2/3 innings. He probably would have been on the outside looking in had spring training not been shutdown but was added to Atlanta’s initial player pool and was assigned to the alternate training site when camp reopened. The Braves designated Jhoulys Chacin for assignment and selected the Rusin’s contract on August 1.
What went wrong in 2020?
Rusin’s stint with the Braves would include just one appearance on August 3. He would enter in long relief against the Mets and allow six hits, three walks and three runs over 3 1/3 innings. Rusin was designated for assignment on August 4 as the Braves continued to shuffle in some fresh arms for the bullpen. He would clear waivers but would later be released to clear a spot in the player pool.
Outlook for 2021
Rusin will be a free agent in 2021 and will most likely be looking for a minor league deal with an invite to spring training. He made 49 appearances for the Rockies in 2018 but has made just three in the majors over the last two seasons. His sinker averaged 86.7 mph in 2020 which was a decrease of about two miles per hour over 2019. It wouldn’t be surprising for some team to take a flyer on Rusin given his status as a veteran lefty reliever but there is reason to question whether there is anything left in the tank.