The Atlanta Braves’ rotation was thrown into shambles early on in the 2020 season due to injury (Cole Hamels, Mike Soroka), opt outs (Felix Hernandez) and disappointing performance (Mike Foltynewicz, Sean Newcomb). As a result, Atlanta went through a lot of arms early on including some names that no one was expecting. The Braves claimed Robbie Erlin off of waivers from the Pirates on August 7 and he would end up sticking around for longer than many were expecting.
What went right in 2020?
Erlin made two appearances with the Pirates allowing five hits and two runs in 3 1/3 innings before he was designated for assignment. He was elevated to the active roster on August 9 for a doubleheader against the Phillies. His debut did not go well as he allowed a grand slam to the first batter he faced. He would allow three homers in just 2 2/3 innings in his debut. The highlight of his season would come six days later as the Braves would give him a spot start in Miami where he allowed just one hit over four scoreless innings while striking out five.
What went wrong?
After that start, he would allow 18 runs over his next five appearances. Erlin would make four more starts for the Braves but wouldn’t last longer than four innings and allowed at least two runs in each of his appearances. He was released by the club on August 14.
What to expect for 2021
Erlin will be a free agent and will be looking to latch on with a club on a minor league deal. He saw his velocity drop across the board in 2020 although he has decent spin on his curveball. There is always a demand for left-handed pitchers so it wouldn’t be terribly surprising to see him get another shot somewhere even given the lackluster results.