Not so long ago, it was suggested by some that the Atlanta Braves‘ bullpen could use some change. Before Saturday’s game against the Miami Marlins, change is exactly what they got. Ian Thomas was sent to triple-A and the closer from double-A was called up to the Braves ‘pen. To say it is early is an understatement but the first returns look very good for this team that is in dire need of clutch bullpen arms.
Most figured that Simmons would have to wait before he got the chance to enjoy a pleasant big league debut when the game got close late. The situation began to look very familiar however very quickly. The bullpen started to give up some runs in the form of two charged to David Carpenter. As a fan you probably had that feeling that if this kid was supposed to be the next Craig Kimbrel, he needed to get into that game right then.
What a treat it was to see him come in and strike out the final out of the inning. It was the kind of showing that, while not guaranteeing anything, sort of shines a light on better bullpen days ahead for the Braves. If Simmons can ease into a role that is sort of the setup variety within the next week or two, things will begin to look very good. Just about that time will be when Jordan Walden returns from injury and that will be a fun bullpen to see once again.