Braves Acquire Brad Hand from Rockies

Braves Brad Hand
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

The Atlanta Braves have traded for left-handed reliever Brad Hand from the Colorado Rockies in exchange for minor league pitcher Alec Barger. Brad Hand brings experience to a World Series contender while the Rockies continue their retooling for the future. With the Braves’ only healthy left-handed reliever being A.J. Minter, Hand was a necessary trade for a team who needed left-handed pitching. Minter was reinstated to the active roster on Monday after coming off the 60-day IL ,and rehab assignments.

Added Depth

With the Braves’ bullpen ranking first in team ERA (3.67), Hand looks to lower an already well-rounded bullpen. He is the second-best reliever the Braves acquired in trades in the last eight days, with Pierce Johnson being the better in Reliever Roundup. The Braves hold the best record in baseball at 67–37. The Rockies have a 42–64 record, and they hold the third-worst winning percentage in baseball.  The Braves are still exploring more trades for pitching, but this deal may start a wave of searching for trades for them.

Brad Hand

Brad Hand, the newest member of the Braves, is a 33-year old reliever with an ERA of 4.54 and WHIP of 1.430. Hand, a three-time All-Star is a good get for the Braves when it comes down to the playoffs. The Braves fell short in 2022, and the bullpen is the most glaring issue that needs to be addressed. Although He is going through the worst hard-hit percentage in his career, his improved velocity gives him his highest strikeout percentage since 2020.

In the newest Reliever Roundup, He ranks 37th among NL middle relievers. In addition to being slightly above average in the rankings, Hand’s 2.5 HR% can be helpful. With a three-pitch mix, Brad Hand uses the sweeping curve, sinker, and 4-seam fastball. His sinker in horizontal and vertical break is above league average, and his sweeping curve generates a .180 xBA. Hand debuted against the Braves in 2011, and has come full circle to play for them.

Alec Barger

Alec Barger, the newest member of the Rockies, is a 25-year-old reliever with an ERA of 3.29 and WHIP of 1.357. Barger, a 17th-round pick in 2019 from North Carolina State, is improving yearly. Since his debut in 2019, Barger has improved his oBA, ERA, and WHIP. Now in Double-A with the Hartford Yard Goats, Barger could be in the major leagues soon. Barger has jumped up leagues, and his improvement with more challenging competition shows his talent is blossoming. In addition to his new improvements, Barger averages 11.27 K/9, 7.28 H/9 and 0.47 HR/9. The six-two righty will soon become a good reliever in the major leagues.

 

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Brooks Thomason

As a up and coming writer, Brooks has been born and raised as an Atlanta Braves fan. Going through the years of Jason Heyward, Justin Upton, and Brian McCann as a kid, to Freddie Freeman, and Acuña, Brooks has seen Braves stars come and go. However, his fandom always remains with Braves Country.

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