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2021 Braves player review: Jay Flaa

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Flaa made one appearance for the Braves before finishing the season at Gwinnett.

New York Yankees v Baltimore Orioles Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

While the Atlanta Braves’ bullpen ended the season as a strength, it took a while to get there. At various points early on, they found themselves rapidly going through different options in hopes that they could cover innings. Right-hander Jay Flaa was one of those options who made a single appearance at the major league level before finishing the season at Gwinnett, one of three players to pitch in just a single game for the Braves this year.

How acquired

Flaa was originally drafted in the sixth round of the 2015 MLB Draft by the Baltimore Orioles. He spent the first five years of his professional career in their minor league system. He made his major league debut on April 27 for the Orioles, logging 1 1/3 scoreless innings against the New York Yankees. He was designated for assignment by Baltimore in early May and was claimed off waivers by the Braves on May 11.

Expectations

Given that Flaa had pitched poorly in Triple-A in 2019, very little was likely expected. Atlanta was probably hoping that he would be able to log a few more innings, but they took a while to add him to the active roster and never really used him. He was unable to soak up frames at the major league level but he did provide some depth at Gwinnett.

2021 Season results

Atlanta added Flaa to the active roster on May 23 and he made one appearance on May 29, in a blowout loss to the Mets, where he allowed three hits and four runs in 1 1/3 innings. He was optioned two days later and was outrighted off the 40-man roster on July 13. Flaa remained at Gwinnett for the remainder of the season, where he appeared in 31 games overall while posting a 5.82 ERA and a 4.72 FIP in 34 innings.

Jay Flaa 2021 Stats

Gms IP K% BB% ERA FIP xERA
Gms IP K% BB% ERA FIP xERA
ATL/BAL - 2 2.2 23.1 23.1 13.50 14.04 9.70
GWN 34.0 26.4 18.4 5.82 4.72 ------

What went right? / What went wrong?

Flaa made his major league debut at age 29 but logged a combined 2 2/3 innings between Baltimore and Atlanta. He faced 13 batters total, including three walks, three strikeouts, and two homers allowed. His Triple-A numbers weren’t inspiring either as he struggled with an elevated walk-rate and fly ball rate.

Road to the Title

Like Carl Edwards Jr., Flaa had the dubious luxury of coming into a blowout — he entered a 7-1 game and transformed it into a 13-1 score before he departed. As a result, he didn’t cost the Braves any WPA or cWPA. We’ll get to a player who actually added cWPA to his team in a win eventually, but that player was not Flaa, who ended his season with -0.01% cWPA for the Braves.

Outlook for 2022

Flaa became a minor league free agent at the end of the season. He is still just 29-years old and will be looking to latch on somewhere for another opportunity in 2022.