Atlanta Braves’ Top 5 Relievers of All Time

Atlanta Braves' Top 5 Relievers of All Time

Mark Wohlers
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When people hear Atlanta Braves, they probably think of the great starting pitching the team had in the 1990's, or even one of the best switch hitters of all time, Chipper Jones. However, through time, they have had quite a few good arms in their bullpen. Most of the better arms have come since the 90's, when the team established their dominance in the NL East. These five guys are reasons why those teams were so darn good.

5. Jonny Venters

5. Jonny Venters
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5. Jonny Venters

5. Jonny Venters
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He's not a closer, but before he was injured in 2013, he was the closer before the closer. Before his injury, his highest ERA was 1.95 in his rookie season, and he had struck out 189 batters in his first two seasons. Striking out almost 10 batters per nine innings is just part of his success. When he returns to the Braves' bullpen healthy, expect him to take over that 8th inning role and continue the dominance he held before his injury.

4. Mark Wohlers

4. Mark Wohlers
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4. Mark Wohlers

4. Mark Wohlers
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Remember what happened for the Braves in 1995? Yep, a World Series. That was also the first year Mark Wohlers was the closer for the team. In his three years as a closer for the team, he was just as good as anyone not named Trevor Hoffman. He held an ERA of 2.87 in those three years, he struck out 202 batters, and was the best thing the Braves had seen in that position up to that time.

3. John Rocker

3. John Rocker
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3. John Rocker

3. John Rocker
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Before he was known as a huge jerk and traded to Cleveland, John Rocker was dominant out of the Braves' bullpen. He had 81 saves in just two and a half years as the closer for the team. With a dominating fastball, he struck out 259 players in his time with the team; there weren't many teams that were excited to see him come out of the pen. Then, he went off the deep end, and most Braves' fans like to forget he played in Atlanta.

2. John Smoltz

2. John Smoltz
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2. John Smoltz

2. John Smoltz
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If he hasn't spend a lot of time as a starting pitcher, he'd easily be No. 1 on this list. His 154 saves went untouched for the longest time, and he is the only pitcher to record 150 wins and 150 saves. In 2002, he led the league with 55 saves and finished in the top 10 in MVP voting, while following that up with seasons of 45 and 44 saves. Had he been a closer when he entered the league with the Braves, he may have been an MLB record holder.

1. Craig Kimbrel

1. Craig Kimbrel
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1. Craig Kimbrel

1. Craig Kimbrel
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Now holding the Braves' record for career saves (155 and counting), Craig Kimbrel is the most dominant arm the organization have ever seen. In just three seasons as a closer, he has 155 saves, an ERA of 1.41, and 419 strikeouts. He has led the league in saves the past three seasons (46, 42, 50) while winning the Rookie of the Year award in 2011 and obtaining MVP and Cy Young votes in each season. He's the best reliever this team has ever seen.

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