The Atlanta Braves have released pitcher Robbie Erlin. The veteran had been a waiver acquisition earlier this year after starting the season with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He wasn’t producing despite ample opportunity in a banged-up Braves rotation. The team announced the move Monday afternoon.
The #Braves today released LHP Robbie Erlin.
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) September 14, 2020
Braves Release Robbie Erlin
Erlin has struggled in 2020 with Pittsburgh and Atlanta. The 29-year-old has thrown just 26 and two-thirds innings with an 8.10 ERA. His 25 strikeouts and seven walks are fine but his hits-against are up. Erlin has never been a hard thrower; his average fastball velocity is only 90 miles per hour but nothing was working especially well this season. He is simply a softer-throwing lefty that doesn’t have as much success in the modern baseball game.
The Texas Rangers originally selected Erlin in the third round of the 2009 Amateur Draft out of high school. He was traded in 2011 to the San Diego Padres as part of a package in exchange for Mike Adams. Erlin debuted for the Padres in 2013 and threw over 300 innings with a 4.57 ERA. For his career, Erlin has pitched 339 innings with a 4.85 ERA, 274 strikeouts, and 69 walks.
What This Means for the Future
Erlin wasn’t adding value to Atlanta’s pitching staff so there is very little lost with this release. Both FanGraphs and Baseball-Reference calculate negative WAR for the veteran lefty. The Braves have suffered multiple pitching injuries in 2020 but they have one of the deeper pitching pools in MLB. They called up right-handed thrower Touki Toussaint to help fill the void for the last couple of weeks of the regular season.
Erlin might have a tough time finding a job for 2020 as teams in contention gear up for the final stretch. However, a team might offer a minor league deal after the season is over to see how he looks for 2021. Erlin was bad in 2020 but he does have 3.7 WAR to his credit according to FanGraphs. That is worth a spring invite for many teams.
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