On the same day they official signed right-hander Jason Frasor the Braves have added a second veteran reliever, agreeing to terms with left-hander Ross Detwiler after he was released by the Rangers.
Detwiler pitched horribly in Texas, going 0-5 with a 7.12 ERA in 43 games, but from 2009-2014 he posted a 3.82 ERA in 471 innings for the Nationals while filling rotation and bullpen roles.
At age 29 he’s a worthwhile flier for the Braves to take as they try to add some veteran-ness to a bullpen that just lost closer Jason Grilli for the season to a torn Achilles’ tendon.
Veteran reliever Jason Frasor has signed with the Braves after being released by the Royals earlier this week, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com.
Frasor’s release was a surprise because of his sparkling 1.54 ERA, but his 18/15 K/BB ratio in 23 innings was far less impressive and Kansas City is overflowing with quality bullpen options.
With that said, Frasor has a decade-long history of solid work as a setup man–including a sub-3.75 ERA in six of the past seven seasons–and even at age 37 should be able to help the Braves’ bullpen following closer Jason Grilli’s season-ending Achilles’ tendon injury.
Update (8:25 PM EST): The Braves announced on Twitter that Grilli ruptured his left Achilles tendon, which will end his season, unfortunately.
Braves closer Jason Grilli appeared to hurt his ankle covering first base when Rockies outfielder Drew Stubbs was trying to beat out an infield single leading off the bottom of the ninth inning of a 2-2 game. Grilli was carted off and was replaced by David Aardsma.
The account from MLB.com’s Mark Bowman doesn’t make the situation sound good. Bowman says it appeared Grilli’s foot got caught in the grass in his attempt to cover the bag. Grilli was hanging his head and appeared to be in “significant pain“.
Grilli, 38, is one of several players the Braves have been attempting to trade. He has 24 saves with a 2.67 ERA and a 45/10 K/BB ratio in 33 2/3 innings. Jim Johnson would handle closing duties for as long as Grilli is out.
In his latest for CBS Sports, Jon Heyman reports that the Braves have had “serious talks” about trading Jason Grilli to a contender. He notes that the Blue Jays and Dodgers are locations that would make sense for the veteran right-hander.
Grilli, 38, entered play Friday having converted the save in 24 of 26 opportunities with a 2.67 ERA and a 45/10 K/BB ratio in 33 2/3 innings. He is owed the remainder of this season’s $4.25 million salary plus $3.5 million in 2016 and a $250,000 buyout for the ’17 season.
The 42-44 Braves sit in third place in the National League East, but wouldn’t necessarily be giving up by trading Grilli. Jim Johnson, currently sitting on a 2.14 ERA, has plenty of closing experience and could easily slide into the closer’s role despite immense struggles last year.
Braves catcher Christian Bethancourt took 208 plate appearances before hitting his first home run in the major leagues, and it was a big one. Leading off the bottom of the ninth inning against Pirates reliever Vance Worley with the game tied at 4-4, Bethancourt drove a first pitch breaking ball to the opposite field, just sneaking over the fence in the right field corner for a walk-off solo home run.
Starter Julio Teheran pitched well, but faltered late which allowed the Pirates to score twice to tie the game at 4-4 in the eighth inning. Closer Jason Grilli got the win after pitching a scoreless top half of the ninth inning. The win halts a three-game losing streak for the Braves.
Along with the one home run, Bethancourt has knocked in nine runs while batting .205/.231/.307.