The Atlanta Braves are on track for another NL East crown, but that doesn’t mean everything has been positive in the 2021 campaign.
Some players are beyond saving, while others struggle in part because they’re placed in less-than-ideal situations. The Braves, like most teams, have made their fair share of mistakes in the 2021 season, especially early on.
Atlanta suffered a rude awakening up until the All-Star Break, when something seemed to click in this bunch. A first half which included losing a future All-Star Game and a star outfielder to a domestic violence investigation evidently was not too much to bounce back from.
Give the Braves and Brian Snitker credit for doing so, but unfortunately for a few key contributors, they’ll have to recover on their own time.
Braves: Shane Greene among 3 players Braves screwed up in 2021
Greene’s demise is partially his own doing for waiting until May to sign, and starting in the minor leagues. Clearly, despite being a veteran at his position, he still needed a regular Spring Training to return to form — something he never did in a Braves uniform.
Yet, Greene’s failed negotiations are as much on the Braves as they are on him. The veteran was coming off a 2.68-ERA season in an Atlanta bullpen that without him failed miserably. Sure, part of that was due to the lack of a true closer once Mark Melancon left.
But Greene had closer experience during his time with the Detroit Tigers! Signing him initially back in free agency was the easy move to solve Atlanta’s bullpen woes. Instead, they waited until May, screwed up Greene’s routine, and never solved those bullpen issues.
Will Smith quite clearly has not been a consistent enough answer.