A day after acquring Chris Martin from the Rangers, the Braves made another move to fortify their bullpen Wednesday when they acquired Mark Melancon from the Giants for minor league righthanders Dan Winkler and Tristan Beck.
Martin and Melancon step into a back of the Braves bullpen that converted just 63 percent (29 of 46) save opportunities this year, 17th in the majors.
Mark Melancon, RHP
Melancon didn’t live up to expectations from the four-year, $62 million deal he signed before the 2017 season, but he remains an effective pitcher. He logged a 3.50 ERA with 16 saves this year while increasing his strikeout rate and lowering his walk rate from a year ago. Melancon will likely set up newly-acquired closer Shane Greene, but is also capable of stepping in as a closer himself. He has valuable postseason experience as well, having pitched in the playoffs every year from 2013-16.
Dan Winkler, RHP
Winkler was a key cog in the Braves bullpen last year but saw his stuff back up this year and has been in Triple-A since mid-June. Winkler’s cutter remans and effective pitch, but his fastball and curveball both lost one mph from last year. With lesser stuff, he began avoiding the strike zone more and saw his walk rate spike. Winkler can slide into middle relief if his stuff ticks back up. He should pitch out of the Giants bullpen at some point this season.
Tristan Beck, RHP
A fourth-round pick out of Stanford last year, Beck battled back issues in college and has been limited to 10 starts this year by an oblique injury. Beck flashes an average fastball and an above-average changeup, but he hasn’t been able to show the velocity he did in college. His breaking ball is fringy. Beck has been hittable this year with a 5.65 ERA at high Class A Florida, but there is a chance a return to full health may unleash his previous better stuff.