The Atlanta Braves got a huge boost from their bullpen in the wake of the Jesse Chavez injury by way of Ben Heller on Friday night vs. the Colorado Rockies.
Ben Heller appears to be one helluva Jesse Chavez replacement for the Atlanta Braves, alright.
Chavez is the spirit animal of the bullpen. Combined, he and Charlie Morton are pushing 100 years old, but it had been over 1,000 days since Heller last pitched in a big-league game. With Chavez going down with a left shin contusion, it was Heller’s time to shine. He had not pitched in the big leagues since early Sept. 2020 when he was with the New York Yankees. Heller shoved on Friday.
He struck out five of the eight batters he faced, walking one and allowing two hits over two innings. Heller was exceptional in his return to the Major Leagues. Braves Country was loving it.
His slider was absolutely filthy, as the Colorado Rockies struggled to do much of anything off him.
Ben Heller was electrifying in his return to the big leagues for the Atlanta Braves
This is yet another one of those moves where Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos simply and majestically flexes on everyone else in the business. He is just better at his job than you are at yours, so you are just going to have to deal with it. Heller could have been had by anyone, but Atlanta and Anthopoulos saw something in him, alright. He produced right away in his team debut.
I think my favorite part in this was Atlanta did need a bit of a pick-me-up in the bullpen after Chavez went down. He will return at some point, but he was actually having an All-Star-level season in his unforgettable journeyman career. We are approaching statue territory with Chavez, but ended up getting an emotional support body pillow in the Braves bullpen. It is a tough scene.
For now, Heller is the latest and greatest thing to ever happen to the Atlanta professional baseball club. When life gives you hell, you give it hell right back. With more movement on his breaking balls than Morton or Collin McHugh could even know what to do with, the Braves are doing more for Sliders than even Top Gun did back in the day. We all can’t be Icemen, Geese or Mavericks, people.
It is hard to top Heller’s return to the majors, but his number will be called once again here soon.