Atlanta Braves lefty relievers Smith, Minter, Matzek and Dayton were outstanding in 2020

Bill Shanks

WILL SMITH: 

Made his Braves debut on August 17 vs. WSH after missing 13 games on the injured list to open the season...Finished with a record of 2-2 with a 4.50 ERA (8 ER/16.0 IP) in 18 games this season. • Seven of his eight runs allowed came by way of a solo home run...Seven of the 11 total hits he allowed were homers. • Had a 6.23 ERA (6 ER/8.2 IP) in his first nine games of the season and a 2.45 ERA (2 ER/7.1 IP) over his last nine games. • Signed with Atlanta during the off-season after three seasons in San Francisco.

TYLER MATZEK: 

Went 4-3 with a 2.79 ERA (9 ER/29.0 IP) in 21 games after making his second Opening Day Roster. • Had not pitched in the majors since 2015...Was out of baseball in 2017 and pitched in the independent American Association in 2018...Rejoined affiliated baseball in 2019 and pitched across three levels of Atlanta’s minor leagues. • Led the majors with 12 relief appearances of more than 1.0 inning this season. • His 43 strikeouts and 29.0 innings pitched this season were the most among left-handed relievers. • Pitched to a 1.94 FIP this season, lowest among all lefties and fourth in MLB (min. 25 IP). 

A.J. MINTER: 

Appeared in 22 games for Atlanta this season, going 1-1 with a 0.83 ERA (2 ER/21.2 IP). • His 0.83 ERA (2 ER/21.2 IP) is the lowest in the National League and second in the majors among left-handed pitchers (min. 20.0 IP). • Has pitched to a 2.84 FIP this season, third lowest in the National League among lefties with as many innings pitched, behind only Drew Smyly and teammate Tyler Matzek. • Is the only lefty in the National League (one of two in MLB) with two earned run or less in at least 20.0 IP. • His career FIP of 2.97 is the sixth lowest among active left-handers with at least 100.0 innings pitched...Trails Aroldis Chapman, Clayton Kershaw, Sean Doolittle, Josh Hader and Chris Sale. 

GRANT DAYTON: 

Made his second Opening Day roster and finished 2-1 with a 2.30 ERA (7 ER/27.1 IP) in 18 games. • His 27.1 innings pitched in relief were tied for the third most among left-handers. • Among lefty relievers, his 32 strikeouts were tied as the fourth highest mark in the majors. • Made 11 relief appearances of more than 1.0 inning, tied for the second most in the majors.  

For more Atlanta Braves coverage, listen to The Bill Shanks Show weekdays at 3:00 p.m. ET on SportsRadio 93.1 FM WXKO TheSuperStations.com. Follow Bill on Twitter @billshanks and email him at TheBillShanksShow@yahoo.com. 

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