The Braves’ bullpen has been....uneven to say the least this season. Atlanta ranks in the middle third or so in terms of reliever fWAR, but that is with Will Smith, AJ Minter, and Josh Tomlin providing real positive value and others...well, not so much.
The greatest offender in the “not so much” category thus far has been Nate Jones. After a promising spring where he seemingly outpitched Carl Edwards Jr. and then saw one competitor, Touki Toussaint, go down with an injury, Jones has been pretty horrific out of the bullpen with a seemingly innocuous 3.48 ERA but a FIP of 8.72 while walking 8.71 batters per nine. That put his fWAR on the season at -0.6 which is frankly impressive considering he has only pitched in 10.1 innings this year.
The Braves decided to make a change as a result.
The #Braves today optioned RHP Nate Jones to the club’s alternate training site.— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) May 3, 2021
There wasn’t a corresponding move made to bolster the bullpen and with the off day today, we may not know that corresponding move until tomorrow. With the minor league season starting up tomorrow as well, we will likely get some clarity as to what options they will have available as those rosters are announced, but it wouldn’t be particularly shocking if Carl Edwards Jr. got another look...plus Chris Martin is supposed to be activated this week so that may be the move as well.