For someone that didn’t appear in a major league game, the 2023 season was a whirlwind of sorts for right-hander Seth Elledge. He went to Spring Training with the Braves, ended up in New York with the Mets for a spell, and then eventually returned to Atlanta in July.
Elledge originally signed with the Braves in March of 2022. He spent that season at Triple-A Gwinnett, where he posted a 3.88 ERA and a 2.80 FIP in 46 1⁄3 innings. He was added to the 40-man roster that November, along with Michael Tonkin, in order to keep him from becoming a minor league free agent.
What were the expectations?
Elledge began the season with virtually no expectations. He was minor league relief depth who caught the Braves’ eye with his performance in 2022. Him not appearing in a game was not surprising; him getting added to the active roster perhaps was.
Elledge went to Spring Training in 2023, but was demoted to minor league camp and was designated for assignment on April 8. The Mets claimed him off waivers and he went on to appear in eight games for their Triple-A club. He was then claimed off waivers again by the Tigers in May, but later re-signed with the Braves at the end of June after the Tigers outrighted him off their 40-man roster, and he elected free agency. He was added to the active roster on July 19, but was optioned back to Gwinnett on July 22, and then designated for assignment on July 23 without him having appeared in a game. He ended up finishing the season at Gwinnett.
Elledge appeared in 43 games at the Triple-A level for Atlanta, New York and Detroit. He posted a 5.34 ERA in 57 1⁄3 innings. He did have a 3.91 xFIP for Gwinnett, but was way worse for non-Braves affiliates.
What went right?
He made it back to the major leagues with Atlanta for the first time since 2021 when he was with the Cardinals.
What went wrong?
Elledge was good enough to be claimed off waivers a couple of times, but didn’t produce at the Triple-A level to carve out a role at any of his stops. Brian Snitker spoke highly of him after his promotion in July, but it didn’t translate into any semblance of an opportunity. In addition to his disastrous non-Gwinnett stints in 2023, one thing that went wrong for him in the minors was his HR/FB no longer helping him out. In 2022, Elledge ran a really nice 2.80 FIP in Triple-A, but over 20 percent of his fly balls while pitching for Gwinnett left the yard.
Elledge will turn 28 in May and will again be looking for an opportunity during the spring. He’s bounced around enough that he probably won’t have a problem finding an opportunity, but whether that ever translates into a role at the major league level remains to be seen. Given his 2023, he’s far more on the “Triple-A depth” side of the scale no matter where he ends up.